Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mokele-Mbembe - "One who stops the flow of rivers"

Deep in the thick jungles of the Congo in Africa have come reports from the native peoples of a very large animal they have named "Mokele-Mbembe" which means "One who stops the flow of rivers". The animal is described as being between 15 to 30 feet in length, having a long flexible neck and smooth greyish-brown skin similar to an elephant. The local people report that the animal lives in swamps and the clay caves located along the bends of the rivers.
Interestingly, there have been other sightings than those of the native people. The first European sighting was reported way back in 1776 by French missionarries who recorded it in their writings as a "monstrous animal".
In 1980, 2 cryptozoologists (Roy Mackal and James Powell) led an expedition into the swamps of the Congo looking for what they thought was a sauropod dinosaur that had somehow escaped extinction. They met with many native peoples who did identify the creature from picture books they showed them as a dinosaur.
In 2001, another expedition was launched although it did not result in any sightings, the team did notice that their was a distinct shortage of hippopotami and crocodiles in the area, indicative of a large animal in the area that would have chosen them as a food source or one that just didn't like that kind of animal in the area.
Here are some interesting books you might want to check out:

A Living Dinosaur? In Search of Mokele-mbembe by Dr. Roy P. Mackal
Drums Along the Congo: On the Trial of Mokele-mbembe, the Last Living Dinosaur by Rory Nugent.
Results of the First Congolese Mokele-Mbembe Expedition by Agnagna, Marcellin
On the Track of Unknown Animals by Dr.Bernard Heuvelmans
Les Derniers Dragons d'Afrique (The Last Dragons of Africa) by Dr.Bernard Heuvelmans
In Search of Prehistoric Survivors: Do Giant 'Extinct' Creatures Still Exist by Dr. Karl Shuker


Parag said...

Lots of various animal species cover the large continent, over lots of different habitats. From deserts, to coastal regions, to savannas, to the jungle, Africa seems to have it all. That said, they even still have dinosaurs...

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