66 million years ago, two closely related groups of reptiles, dinosaurs and pterosaurs, which are scientifically grouped into the clade Ornithodira, are believed to have gone extinct. However, many reports of dinosaur like creatures, Mokele Mbembe, and giant bat like creatures have led some, but not most, cryptozoologists to think dinosaurs and pterosaurs may still be alive.

Pterosaurs

Main article: Pterosaurs and Pterodactyls in Cryptozoology

Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are prehistoric animals that evolved during The Triassic, and most likely became extinct during the late Cretaceous, excluding birds. Despite popular belief, no dinosaurs lived in the water or flew, excluding birds, which survive today. (The most well known prehistoric animals that were aquatic are Plesiosaurs, and the most well known prehistoric reptilian flyers are Pterosaurs, which are often mistaken for dinosaurs.) There are two main groups of dinosaurs: Saurichian, or lizard-hipped, and Ornithischian, or bird hipped.  Saurichians include the theropods, which include Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor mongoliensis, and birds; as well as the sauropods, which include Brachiosaurus altithorax and Amargasaurus cazaui. Ornithischian dinosaurs included many types of dinosaur, but no carnivores; only herbivores and omnivores. Some Ornithischians include Corythosaurus casuarius, Triceratops horridus, Pachycephalosaurs wyomingensis, and Stegosaurus armatus. Dinosaurs, excluding birds, are believed to have been driven to extinction during the Late Cretaceous. There are many theories regarding how or why, but the most widely accepted theory is that an asteroid struck the Earth. The extinction may have lasted for thousands of years. The last dinosaurs to have been killed due to this extinction (based on fossil evidence) were the ceratopsians, like Triceratops. However, cryptozoologists have been reporting that dinosaurs may have survived, like large tyrannosaurs, or even sauropods (Mokele Mbembe) which were mostly killed off (in exception to titanosaurs) during the Late Jurassic. Still, the possibility of dinosaurs still living continues, especially in areas where the ecosystem hasn't changed much over the past 66 million years. The remote and dense jungles of the Congo, the world's most unexplored rainforest, are ideal for a living dinosaurs, because its climate is hot and humid and it is lush in vegetation due to its small population of people. This is all very unlikely, however, based on fossil evidence, but one must not rule out the possibility.

South American dinosaurs:

A few rumors of huge, amphibious beasts in South America are on record, but no local Indian names have surfaced.

In 1882, an odd, 40-foot saurian was killed on the Río Beni, El Beni Department, Bolivia. It was said to have two additional, doglike heads sprouting from its back, a long neck, and scaly armor. “A Bolivian Saurian,” Scientific American 49 (1883).

The explorer Percy Fawcett mentioned dinosaur-like animals briefly on several occasions as occurring in the Río Guaporé area on the border of Bolivia and Brazil, in the Madidi region of La Paz Department in northwestern Bolivia, and in swamps around the Rio Acre in Acre State, Brazil. Percy H. Fawcett, Exploration Fawcett (London: Hutchinson, 1955).

In late 1907, Franz Herrmann Schmidt and Rudolph Pfleng allegedly encountered an aquatic, dinosaur-like monster, 35 feet long, in a swampy area in the forested swamps of Loreto Department, Peru. It had a tapirlike head “the size of a beer keg,” a snakelike neck, and heavy, clawed flippers. Their bullets seemed to have no effect on the animal. Franz Herrmann Schmidt, “Prehistoric Monsters in Jungles of the Amazon.” New York Herald, January 11, 1911.

In 1931, Swedish explorer Harald Westin saw a 20-foot lizard walking along the shore of the Rio Mamoré on the border of Brazil and Bolivia. It had an alligator-like head, four legs, and a body like a distended boa constrictor. Harald Westin, Tjugu års djungel- och tropikliv (Stockholm: Bonnier, 1933).

Leonard Clark heard rumors of an animal resembling a sauropod dinosaur from Peruvian Indians around the Río Marañón, Peru, in 1946. Leonard Clark, The Rivers Ran East (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1953).

In 1975, a Swiss businessman hired a seventyfive-year-old guide named Sebastian Bastos, who told him that the Amazonian Indians knew of animals 18 feet long that overturn canoes and kill humans. Bastos himself had survived an attack several years earlier. Liverpool Daily Post, January 3, 1976.


Artifacts:

A gold figurine from Ashanti Province in Ghana, West Africa, and now located at the University of Pennsylvania Museum seems to depict a sauropod dinosaur. It was made as a trademark representing a particular family of gold dealers and resembles an Apatosaurus (bulky body, four legs, long tail), except for a relatively large head that looks more like a Tyrannosaurus. Some researchers see it as a representation of the Mokele-Mbembe. Margaret Plass, African Miniatures: The Goldweights of the Ashanti (London: Lund Humphries, 1967); “An Iguanodon from Dahomey,” Pursuit, no. 9 (January 1970): 15–16; Bernard Heuvelmans, Les derniers dragons d’Afrique (Paris: Plon, 1978), pp. 336–337.

In October and November 1924, an expedition led by archaeologist Samuel Hubbard and paleontologist Charles W. Gilmore explored the Havasu Canyon area on the Havasupai Indian Reservation west of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. Near where the Tobocobe Trail intersects Lee Canyon, they discovered pictographs on the red sandstone along the trail, one of which seems to show a bipedal ornithopod dinosaur. Oakland Museum, Discoveries Relating to Prehistoric Man by the Doheny Scientific Expedition in the Hava Supai Canyon, Northern Arizona (San Francisco, Calif.: Sunset Press, 1927); A. Hyatt Verrill, Strange Prehistoric Animals and Their Stories (Boston: L. C. Page, 1948).

In July 1944, German merchant Waldemar Julsrud discovered a cache of clay and stone figurines depicting dinosaurs, weird animals, humans, masks, and vessels on El Toro hill near Acámbaro, Guanajuato State, Mexico. By the mid-1950s, he had found some 33,500 separate objects, which filled his twelve-room mansion and, it is said, forced him to sleep in the bathtub. The collection is no longer open to the public, and it is suspected that only a fraction of the original number of objects exist now. Though apparently seven distinct artistic styles are represented in the collection, none are typical of artifacts found elsewhere in Mesoamerica. Most, if not all, of the dinosaur-like figures are fanciful or composite animals, though some have seen resemblances to the sauropod Brachiosaurus, the ornithopod Iguanodon, and an Ankylosaurus. Other figures resemble such extinct Pleistocene fauna as Camelops. Radiocarbon dates for the artifacts range from 4530–1110 b.c., though in some cases, laboratories have retracted these findings upon learning of their controversial nature, referring to suspected contamination or even “regenerated light signals.” William N. Russell, “Did Man Tame the Dinosaur?” Fate 5 (February-March 1952): 20–27; Charles C. Di Peso, “The Clay Figurines of Acambaro, Guanajuato, Mexico,” American Antiquity 18 (1953): 388–389; William N. Russell, “Report on Acambaro,” Fate 6 (June 1953): 31–35; Ronald J. Willis, “The Acambaro Figurines,” INFO Journal, no. 6 (Spring 1970): 2–17; “The Julsrud Ceramic Collection in Acambaro, Mexico,” Pursuit, no. 22 (April 1973): 41–43; Charles H. Hapgood, Mystery in Acambaro (Winchester, N.H.: Charles H. Hapgood, 1973; Kempton, Ill.: Adventures Unlimited, 2000); Dennis Swift, Dinosaurs of Acambaro, http://www.omniology. com/3-Ceramic-Dinos.html.

In 1966, Peruvian physician Javier Cabrera obtained a rock on which was a picture of a fish, seemingly carved thousands of years ago. He found where it came from and eventually amassed a collection of thousands of volcanic rocks with pictures of dinosaurs, kangaroos, mastodons, winged humanoids, telescopes, open-heart surgery, and other fantastic images. Now housed in his Museo de Piedras Grabadas in Ocucaje, near Ica, Peru, Cabrera claims they were made 1 million–250,000 years ago by an unknown culture. Others have accused Cabrera of producing the stones himself or at least turning a blind eye to local forgers. Ryan Drum, “The Cabrera Rocks,” INFO Journal, no. 17 (May 1976): 6–11; Javier Cabrera Darquea, El mensaje de las piedras grabadas de Ica (Lima, Peru: INTI-Sol, 1976); David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America (Stelle, Ill.: Adventures Unlimited, 1986), pp. 29–31, 48–52; Michael D. Swords, “The Cabrera Rocks Revisited,” INFO Journal, no. 48 (March 1986): 11–13; Robert Todd Carroll, “Ica Stones,” in Skeptic’s Dictionary, http://skepdic.com/icastones.html.


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