Krokodýlí žába Shuker/Sláma

21. srpna 2011 v 0:38 | archiv a VAS
Vážení přátelé, po čase jsem opět zabrousil na stránky anglického kryptozoologa Mr. Shukera a s potěšením jsem si přečetl článek o krokodýlí žábě, kterou proslavil můj přítel Jarek Mareš, a po jejíž stopách jsem se na řeku Segamu (Severní Borneo) vydal i já.
Abych si trochu přihřál polívčičku - vím, že jsem teď poněkud trapně komerční, ale co se dá dělat - tak si celý příběh o monstru z řeky Segamy můžete přečíst v mé nové knize Záhadná monstra (nakladatelství XYZ, 2011) se skvělými ilustracemi Petra Modlitby (klobouk dolů před tímto následovníkem Zdeňka Buriana).
Takže teď Shukerův text (květen, 2011)

Further evidence for the existence of tailless crocodiles can be found in a second Czech cryptozoology book, written this time by Vojtěch Sláma, entitled Hon na Vodní Pøíšery ('The Hunt For Water Monsters'), and published in 2002. Kindly translated for me once again by Miroslav Fišmeister (thanks, Mirek!), the relevant information from this book is as follows:

"The north Borneo river Segama looks like a normal jungle river. But unlike the rest, her stream is inhabited by mysterious creatures that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. I was told about them during my one-week voyage by an 80-year-old Kadazan [=Dusun] fisherman, Bateig Labi. This patriarch of the Bugit Balachon kampong does not tell tall tales. People around him respect him deeply and greatly value his advice and experience.

"He saw the roughly 3-m-long monster called appropriately the "Crocodile frog" by the local Kadazans several times in the jungles around Segama. He said that it had a giant crocodile head and a large slimy body of an amphibian. The scary creature gave Bateig a look with its bulging eyes and then disappeared in the impenetrable undergrowth with a big noise.

"It certainly could not be any known amphibian...

"In this situation I can think of two hypotheses - the first, albeit very improbable, would be the survival of the large amphibians well known among palaeontologists. For example the species of the Mastodonsaurus genus, which looked like monstrous frogs, were more than 4 m long and they were feared predators. As we know from fossils, the skulls themselves were longer than 1 m! Yet their survival is highly improbable due to their known general sensitivity to any changes of habitat.

Mastodonsaurus on postage stamps

"I thought of another hypothesis while visiting a crocodile farm near the north Borneo town of Sandakan. In the concrete tanks there also live - next to fully grown 5-m-long specimens - deformed crocodiles that lack a tail and whose crippled bodies with which they were born really look a bit like frogs.

"Is it possible that the legends of the mysterious frog phantom are based on the observing of these tailless specimens, which by a miracle overcame their handicap and specialised in hunting the land animals rather than fish? That is a possible solution to the Segama mystery too.

"Yet the idea of surviving mastodonsaurs that still hunt in the jungles of today is undoubtedly more inviting."

In his book, Sláma included the following photograph of one of the tailless crocodiles that he encountered at the Sandakan crocodile farm, and there is little doubt that a freak specimen of this nature might well indeed have inspired native legends of giant 'crocodile frogs' in the jungles fringing the river Segama.

A tailless crocodile at Sabah's Sandakan crocodile farm (Vojtìch Sláma)

Of course, just like Sláma, I'd be delighted for there to be an undiscovered modern-day species of mastodonsaur out there, but just the knowledge that a creature I'd hitherto discounted as an entirely fictitious Photoshop creation actually has a cryptozoological precedent is delight, and discovery, least for now!

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