Wednesday 4 December 2019

A Living Dinosaur in the Yukon?

The monster of Partridge Creek,Yukon.
A  story by Georges Dupuy entitled "The Monster of Partridge Creek"( in the Yukon) was  published in the French journal ‘Je sais tout’ in  1908 and The Strand Magazine.A banker, James Lewis Buttler and a miner Tom Leemore told him they were hunting moose near Clear Creek when the animals began stampeding away from them in fright.A large predator must have startled them. The men followed some tracks, which they assumed were  made by a large animal, into a rocky gorge.  On their return  Dupuy heard the story and agreed to join the men, along with French missionary Father Pierre Lavagneux and five unnamed First Nations individuals, to search for the reported animal. They established a camp site overlooking a ravine near Partridge Creek where they claimed they were able to observe an animal,10 meters( 30 feet long )with a hairy body. Scared at the sight of it  Lavagneux cried out , "A Ceratosaurus. It is the Ceratosaurus of the Arctic Circle.” Dupuy claimed he had a letter he  received from Lavagneux in January 1908 he dated Christmas Day 1907, in which the priest said that on Christmas Eve, and while in the company of ten First Nation men , he had seen the monster again,with what seemed to be the carcass of a caribou in its mouth . Tracks identical to those found back in 1903 were clearly visible in the deep mud. They were later obliterated by snow.

Normally we hear tales of living dinosaurs from hot countries ,often in jungles. This however was the Yukon,snowy and cold.It seems unlikely a creature used to warmer climes could have survived for millions of years in such conditions. Could they have seen the rare but native of the area ,a Wood Bison?
In comparison to a plains bison,a wood bison is larger and heavier, with large males reaching 3.35 m (11.0 ft) long including 54 cm (1.77 ft) tails and 201 cm (6.59 ft) tall at withers and 1,179 kg (2,600 lb) in weight, making it the heaviest living terrestrial animal in North America.The highest point of the wood bison is well ahead of its front legs and they also have larger horn cores, darker and woollier pelages, and less hair on their forelegs and beards. One such large animal caked in mud and appearing unexpectedly could be mistaken at a distance for something more sinister or dinosaur like. Just a thought in the unlikely event of dinosaurs surviving in such a cold place,sometimes a simple explanation of mistaken identity is the answer.

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