More about that bird (and readers’ wildlife photographs)

by Greg Mayer The unidentified leucistic bird in the photos sent by my Wind Point correspondent have generated a lot of interesting discussion (as well as a heart-rending tale from one of our regular commenters). Most of the debate has been grackle vs. cowbird. When I first saw one of the pictures (the third of those […]

What bird is that? (and some readers’ wildlife)

by Greg Mayer In the following photos, we have no problem spotting the bird– it sticks out like a sore thumb. Rather, the problem is the bird is not a nightjar– it’s pretty much the opposite in terms of background matching! We’ve recently paid some attention to color variation in squirrels, and reader Jason sent […]

“I can call monsters from the vasty deep…

by Greg Mayer Why, so can I, or so can any man; But are there any to come when you do call for them?” [Update below.] In writing about today’s Loch Ness Monster Google Doodle, Jerry noted that I have taught about cryptozoology (the science of “hidden animals”) for many years, and we’ve written about […]

“Oriental yeti”– April Fools?

by Greg Mayer The Telegraph and the Times have stories up about the creature below from China, which they’ve dubbed the “oriental yeti”. The Times headline writer notes that it “looks like a bear without fur”. The story is so absurd, I first thought it an April Fools joke, but the datelines are April 5 […]

Caturday felid: the King Cheetah

by Greg Mayer Of interest to both ecological geneticists studying vertebrate polymorphisms and cryptozoologists is the king cheetah. The king cheetah, known only from southern Africa, is a striking pattern variation of the common cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Instead of being spotted, the dark markings of the king cheetah coalesce into stripes and vermiculations, especially along […]


by Greg Mayer The spotted lion is a favorite topic within cryptozoology. Bernard Heuvelmans, the late Belgian zoologist known as the “father of cryptozoology”, defined cryptozoology as The scientific study of hidden animals, i.e., of still unknown animal forms about which only testimonial and circumstantial evidence is available, or material evidence considered insufficient by some! […]

Caturday felid: the Spotted Lion

by Greg Mayer One of the most enigmatic of the felids is the spotted lion. Indeed, it’s so enigmatic that it might, in some senses, be said to not even exist. As you may recall from Jerry’s earlier posting of a video of lion cubs, lions are born with spots, which disappear as they mature. […]

An iguana appetizer

by Greg Mayer No, it’s not a reptilian hors d’oeuvre. It’s pictures of a Galapagos land iguana, Conolophus subcristatus, to whet your appetites for those Jerry will have when he gets back. I toured the Galapagos 20 years ago, and took loads of pictures, but they’re Kodachromes (which I haven’t scanned), so the pictures of […]