Saturday, 23 October 2021

A "Tree Crocodile" in Papua?

       The jungle clad mountains and valleys of New Guinea, just north of Australia, have turned it into a vast patchwork of "ecological islands" with new, rare, species just waiting to be discovered. By following up clues left by the natives, one of our more prominent zoologists, Dr. Tim Flannery managed to locate two new species of tree kangaroo concealed in localised pockets. The possibility that the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, believed to be extinct in Australia, may still exist in the Indonesian half of the island, is something I have discussed in this blog (here and here) and in my up-dated second edition of Bunyips and Bigfoots. Just the same, it was still a surprise to discover a 1955 article by a certain Walker Pearson, about a legendary giant lizard, or "tree crocodile" in Papua. Not only that, but he was able to cite, not only native legends, but credible reports by Europeans concerning the cryptid.