An artist's concept of the Mokele-mbembe
|Country||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Habitat||The Congo River Basin|
DescriptionIn the jungle of central Africa countries of Congo, Cameroon, and Gabon there were reports of an animal with a long neck, a long tail, and rounded shape tracks with three claws. The closest known animal that has these characteristics is a sauropod dinosaur. When some of the local people of the Likouala region would draw in the dirt or sand a representation of Mokele-mbembe they drew the shape of a sauropod dinosaur. Then when they were shown a picture of a sauropod dinosaur they said that picture is Mokele-mbembe.
Mokele-mbembe means "One that stops the flow of rivers." A French priest in the region called it "monstrous animal." Mokele-mbembe is also used as a generic term to refer to other animals like Emela-ntouka, Mbielu-mbielu-mbielu, and Nguma-monene. Mokele-mbembe has been described as an animal with a long neck and tail which are characteristics of a sauropod dinosaur.Its body size is somewhere between the size of a hippopotamus and an elephant. Its length has been reported to be between 5 to 10 meters (16 to 32 feet). The length of the neck is between 1.6 to 3.3 meters (5 to 10 feet). The length of the tail is between 1.6 to 3.3 meters (5 to 10 feet). The reports out of Cameroon have reported Mokele-mbembe to be up to 75 feet in length. There have also been reports of a frill on the back of the head. The frill is like the comb found on a male chicken. There have also been reports of it having a horn on its head. It could be based on terrified locals who have found bones of prehistoric sauropods like Paralititan, Aegyptosaurus, Vulcanodon, or Massospondylus although they only grew up to 45 feet.
The color of the skin is predominately reddish-brown with a color range from gray to brown. There are no reports of hair on the animal.
- April 2000 - Cameroon, Boumba River, Two Congolese security guards
- 2001 - February/March - CryptoSafari, Cameroon
- 2000 - November - Gibbons-Wetzel, Cameroon
- 1992 - Operation Congo 2
- 1992 - Japanese Expedition
HabitsThe pygmies of the Likouala swamp region report that the essential diet of Mokele-mbembe consists of the Malombo plant. Since it only eats plants then Mokele-mbembe is classified as a herbivore. The Malombo plant actually describes two plants: Landolphia mannii and Landolphia owariensis. Mokele-mbembe lives most of the time underwater except when it eats or travels to another part of the swamp. It has as been reported that Mokele-mbembe does not like hippopotamuses and will kill them on sight, but it does not eat them. Hippopotamuses cannot be found where Mokele-mbembe lives. It has as been reported that Mokele-mbembe will overturn boats and kill the people from the boats by biting them and hitting them with its tail, but it does not eat the people. If this was a living sauropod most scientists and paleontologists doubt it would become hostile or carnivorous due to the fact that there are over 1,000 kinds of plants in the congo.
- Scientists usually agree that the creature is a hoax, but others believe it could be a species of bird or other animal. The evidence for its hoax tends to be the fossil record not showing the survival of sauropods past the Kpg. A counter is that the coelacanth was found even though it was thought to be extinct since the Kpg. This can fall apart due to the fact the coelacanth was a deep water fish and fish fossils dont preserve as well as dinosaurs fossils which should preserve better. The fact coelacanth fossils have been found in Israel and Sweden after the Kpg is further evidence skeptics tend to use like Zoologist Darren naish. The other evidence such as footprints tend to show up as faulty as they can have the wrong number of toes. The creatures existence was perpetuated by westerners. Carl Hugenbeck was a German Merchant of wild animals. He once amassed one thousand lions. He frequented trips to africa to capture animals, when he came back he started telling stories of the Mokele-mbembe and people who had never went to Africa could believe him as he was a a popular Celebrity at the time. The locals tended to disagree with his stories. The Ugandan leader said they may be no truth to such story. The fact that a new algae which was discovered in a trip to find the supposed living dinosaur and the red Clovis monkey thought to be extinct in the Congo for years can also be used as a talking point saying that if they can be discovered than why cant a 32 ft dinosaur? This has not stopped people looking for the animal.
Some believe the creature could be a giant lizard with a long neck, a rhino, an elephant, or even a large pangolin.
Mokele Mbembe!." Skeptic 17.3 (2012): 63-73. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.
Claims of Post-Cretaceous Ichthyosaurs Part 4
In Popular Media
-The Mokele-Mbembe did make an appearance in the 2012 adventure movie The Dinosaur Project, even though it had a Pleiosaur appearance rather than the traditional sauropod appearance.
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