Member of The Crypto Crew:

Please Also Visit our Sister Blog, Frontiers of Anthropology:

And the new group for trying out fictional projects (Includes Cryptofiction Projects):

And Kyle Germann's Blog

And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sabertooth Sightings

A walrus-like creature in the heart of Africa? Such is the description of the dingonek by John Alfred Jordan, an explorer who actually shot at this unidentified monster in the River Maggori in Kenya in 1907. Jordan claimed this scale-covered creature was a big as 18 feet long and had reptilian claws, a spotted back, long tail, and a big head out of which grew large, curved, walrus-like tusks.
Natives of the area further described it as having a scorpion-like tail and reported that it would kill any hippos, crocodiles, or human fisherman that dared encroach on its territory.
This sounds like a fantasy creature, but consider this: At the Brackfontein Ridge in South Africa is a cave painting of an unknown creature that fits the description of the dingonek, right down to its walrus-like tusks. [top]

Heuvelmans on the other hand says that it might be a type of water-loving, surviving Sabertoothed catparts of central Africa:

At the same time the creature has also been suggested to be a kind of large African otter, a tt of an otter, whereas thewe know as fossils have noticeably short, bobbed-off tails. The story that it has a sting in the tail is also seen in South American "Water Tiger" storiesn told falsely of actual tigers in other places!) but the original idea seems to be borrowed from stingrays, which do indeed have a sting in the tail. Apart from that, we seem to have another instance of the "Southern Walrus" on South African shores (below). And I can vouch for the rock art wanting to show "Viper Fangs" instead of really walrus tusks, the only problem being that the artist wanted to show a wide-open, strikinging mouth, and the lower jaw is simply hard to make out lying against the animal's "Chest"


  1. The top picture looks like a gigantic pangolin with a cat like face and sabre teeth.To my understanding,the largest pangolin lived in southeast Asia during the last ice age and was about 10 feet long and weighed about 100 lbs.There are claimed sightings of what may be survivors and is called the VEO.For that picture,unless there is a fossil of a Sabretooth Otter or Sabretooth Cat with Pangolin type scales,the sighting was probably of a sabretooth cat eating a large pangolin and was mistakenly assumed to be a single creature.As for the Giant otter sightings,there are fossils of otters that lived a few million years ago discovered in Ethiopia that were black bear sized and weighed an estimated 400 lbs.Probably the same creature sighted in Loch Ness,Ireland,South America,Japan etc.The Dingoneck is probably a surviving tropical ancestor to the walrus.

  2. are dingones still found in africa?????

  3. To Dustin, I believe the scales are only ruffled fur and the creature is a large otter-like animal. Sometimes otters are said to have a "Scaly" appearance because of the way the fur clings together and several "Scaly" impressions were recently printed in the article about the Mishibizhiw, the Water Panther, which I regard as a giant otter also. The described size and shape of the African and American "Water Panthers (Water Tigers) is otherwise similar)

  4. To the anonymous commentator, I believe you mean dugongs, the fork-tailed relatives of manatees. Actually they have been suggested as an explanation for African water-monsters but that makes another problem because they are not known to inhabit freshwater otherwise. Ivan T Sanderson mentions the problem in his book Living Mammals of the World, saying 'if these creatures really are dugongs we would like to know how they got there' (in these landlocked lakes far into the African interior, some of which do not even drain into the ocean)


This blog does NOT allow anonymous comments. All comments are moderated to filter out abusive and vulgar language and any posts indulging in abusive and insulting language shall be deleted without any further discussion.