The Arica Monster is said to be a large surviving member of the dromaeosaurids that inhabits the vast Atacama desert of Chile, South America. It has descriptions of that of a dromaeosaur and a kangaroo. Various motorists driving the main road linking Iquique and Arica have reported a 6-foot tall sharp-toothed bipedal dinosaur crossing the road in front of them. It has been said that it has three-toed footprints, characteristic of that of a primitive dinosaur, kangaroo, or even emu. In Destination Truth, it is described as a dinosaur-like bird.
In 2004, several members of a large Spanish family saw what they described as a dog-faced kangaroo-like creature that surrounded their vehicle as they made their way home to Arica. Several times in 2004, other people reported seeing the creature. Once, it was seen in a group.
There are many possibilities of what this animal could be. It could be a living type of dromaeosaur or possibly some of the other unique prehistoric fauna that floods South America, such as a Phorusrhacos. Since the Atacama desert is so vast and it can barely support the very few animals that live there, most people say it was just a hoax. Others say otherwise.
It is possible that it is a late surviving shuvosaurid that survived both the late Triassic and Cretaceous extinction events, since Sillosaurus, which resembles most inaccurate depictions of dinosaurs (including the Arica Monster), lives in South America. It is also more likely for it to be a fairly large polydolopimorph, since there are reports of Argyrolagus living in the Pleistocene.
The Arica Monster was first spotted at the Atacama desert in Chile 1980. Witnesses describe a run in with huge kangaroo-like, bipedal monster in the deserts. The sightings have occurred by people who were traveling by car on different days through the remote road that links the cities of Iquique and Arica through the Atacama desert, some 2,000 kilometers north of Santiago, Chile. The newspapers in those cities collected recent accounts from citizens who claim to have seen the rare creatures. In addition, a military officer named Hernan Cuevas says that he spotted two of the beasts while traveling with two other adults and two children in a vehicle. He was quoted as seeing, "a huge beast, much like a two-legged dinosaur, with huge thighs."
They described the animal as being exactly like the raptor from Jurassic Park. In this case, it's said to be a living Dromaeosauridae.
"This time it is from the Atacama Desert in Chile where reports of a possible dinosaurian survivor have surfaced. This particular desert is of great interest in itself, as it is considered the driest place on the surface of our planet, although water can be found if one knows where to look for it. South America has provided us with wonderful fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, and Chile is no exception. But could there be an ancient species that somehow managed to survive extinction and live on in this inhospitable desert?
It seems that reports of possible dinosaurs living in the Atacama Desert have come to light in recent years. In 2004, several members of the Abett de la Torre Diaz family described a confrontation with four “dog faced kangaroo like” creatures that surrounded their car as they journeyed home to Arica. But they are not the only ones to have seen something strange. Other motorists have also reported coming into contact with an animal that looks like it has stepped out of a time capsule.
A composite of the creatures reported by eyewitnesses is fed into the DT software program, and the result shows us an animal not unlike a raptor, with thick leathery skin, three-toed feet, an upright stance and razor sharp teeth. This animal is said to live in caves near sources of water. From these accounts, it is certainly a carnivore and seems to resemble members of the theropod family.
With the Orbitz “one stop shopping” promo taking care of their travel needs, the DT team flies to Antofagasta, and from there make their way to the city of Arica near where the sightings were supposed to have taken place. Josh is certainly not kidding in his description of the Atacama Desert. I brought up the satellite image on Google Earth and was struck at how very barren and alien this place truly is. It looks like the traveler is no longer on Earth; both the moon and Mars landscapes come to mind.
After arriving in Arica, Josh speaks with Caodero Santoro, a paleontologist with the University of Tarapaca. This scientist has been studying reports of people who claim to have seen this unusual animal. As mentioned above, this Northern Chilean Desert has yielded up some magnificent finds which indicate that dinosaurs had been plentiful in this part of South America. He feels that a member of the dinosauria would be able to remain relatively undetected as long as there is sufficient vegetation, canyons in which to live and hide and a source of drinking water. He refers Josh to some of the eyewitnesses who can provide him with greater details as to what they had seen."
This cryptid could be what people are seeing as the chupacabra in its lizard man form.