In Search of Prehistoric Survivors: Do Giant 'Extinct' Creatures Still Exist? (ISBN 9780713-724691) is a 1995 cryptozoological book by Karl Shuker, examining cryptids which, at some point or another, have been theorised to be supposedly-extinct animals. Regarded as Shuker's best work, a massively-expanded updated version, Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot? (ISBN 978-1616463908), running at 612 pages, was published by Coachwip Publications in 2016.
Both books are divided into four chapters, "How Dead are the Dinosaurs?," "Things with Wings," "Monsters From the Ancient Waters," and "Lions With Pouches and Horses With Claws". The original version had "stop press" columns for each chapter; the updated version has a single stop press chapter at the end. The original carried a foreword by Roy P. Mackal, and the new version carries both this and a new foreword by Michael Newton.
"Hairy man"-type cryptids such as bigfoot or the yeti are pronounced beyond the scope of the work, although both books include a short final section briefly listing such cryptids and "prehistoric survivor" theories regarding them.
The annals of contemporary science contain many recently-discovered living creatures - such as New Zealand's tuatara (a lizard-like dinosaur contemporary), and that famously archaic lobe-finned fish the coelacanth - which belong to ancient animal lineages once believed to have vanished long ago from our planet. By extension, these 'living fossils' provide strong evidence for believing that all is not what it might seem in the world of orthodox zoology.
Naturally, there is no suggestion that a veritable 'Lost World' of prehistoric survivors is waiting on the wings to be uncovered by a true-life Professor Challenger. Nevertheless, as revealed by renowned zoologist Dr Karl P.N. Shuker in this ground-breaking book, there are so many reports and sightings worldwide of unexplained animals strongly resembling various long-extinct creatures that it would be rash to dismiss entirely the likelihood that certain prehistoric lineages do indeed have elusive modern-day representatives still awaiting formal scientific discovery.
This book presents some startling and controversial possibilities - including the prospect of living dinosaurs amid the world's most impenetrable swamplands, winged nightmarish beasts irresistibly reminiscent of pterodactyls and prehistoric giant vultures, lake monsters suggestive of evolved modern-day descendants of 'officially' long-extinct elongate whales called zeuglodonts, long-necked plesiosaurian sea serpents, and a plethora of mammalian methuselahs ranging from surviving sabre-toothed tigers to living mammoths.
Traversing the frontiers and backwaters of science, this major work of cryptozoology (the scientific study of mysterious, unexplained animals) will make us all take a hard new look at what might still be sharing our world - from the mountain jungles of western Africa, and the inhospitable deserts of central Australia, to the skies above North America's Midwest, and the depths of the all-encompassing oceans - and is amply supplemented by thought-provoking illustrations, together with an extensive bibliography.
It has been 21 years since the original publication back in 1995 of In Search of Prehistoric Survivors, considered by many to be Dr Karl Shuker's finest cryptozoological volume. Not surprisingly, then, in subsequent years there has been a growing, persistent clamour among his numerous fans worldwide for him to prepare a new, updated edition. Now, at last, he has done so - and what an update it is!
At over 600 pages long, with a word count of almost 260,000, more than 300 colour and b/w illustrations (including many stunning renditions plus spectacular cover artwork by acclaimed crypto-artist William M. Rebsamen), and a brand-new foreword penned by fellow crypto-chronicler Michael Newton, this is both a massively-expanded new edition of the original volume and a valid stand-alone book in its own right, because it contains many entirely new cryptids as well as updates for all of those previously included here. The result is the most comprehensive documentation and analysis ever published of those diverse mystery beasts that at one time or another have been postulated to be bona fide prehistoric survivors.
But if these elusive beasts do indeed exist, could they really be creatures that time forgot? From sea serpents and lake monsters to living non-avian dinosaurs and surviving pterodactyls, from bunyips and behemoths to Nandi bears, devil-pigs, thunderbirds, thylacoleonids, and many many more, read Dr Shuker's meticulous, objective, and always scrupulously scientific assessments of each and every cryptozoological case presented in this fascinating book, and judge for yourself.
Shuker, Karl P. N. (1995) In Search of Prehistoric Survivors: Do Giant 'Extinct' Creatures Still Exist?, Blandford, ISBN 9780713-724691
Shuker, Karl P. N. (2016) Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot?, Coachwhip Publications, ISBN 978-1616463908