Hunt for living dinosaurs

The problem with this is that the Mokele-mbembe hunters probably wouldn’t recognise a new species unless it was actually a sauropod dinosaur. These people generally have no training whatsoever in field biology; even if they hold a »doctorate« it is usually a theology degree from a non-accredited university rather than anything to do with actual science.

The reason why creationists are so interested in Mokele-mbembe is that they believe that by finding one they will prove evolution false, and creationism true. (Remember that one of the tenets of creationism is that dinosaurs and people coexisted.) This disregards the fact that the evidence for evolution does not hinge on the non-existence of dinosaurs; after all, coelacanths, sharks, and turtles are still around, all of which types of animal are way older than dinosaurs, and their existence doesn’t mean evolution is wrong.

Finally, it turns out that the Africans are more than happy to draw dinosaurs for cryptid hunters when they’re well paid and suitably prompted. They would probably draw the Mona Lisa if the money was right and the cryptid hunter had described to them earlier what it was supposed to look like. Leading creationists on wild-goose chases for Mokele-mbembe is apparently a major economic factor in the area in question; it’s essentially a type of adventure tourism, and if the creationists don’t find anything (which is really no surprise, there being nothing there to find in the first place) it only means they’ll be back with more money next year, so the locals really can’t lose.

Abominable Science is a great book by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero which explains not only the purported »evidence« behind various cryptids such as Sasquatch, Nessie, and Mokele-mbembe but also the psychology of the people looking for them. Very entertaining.

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Interesting finds in Poland that are helping to fill out some of the earlier diverging paths in dino evolution…
Another clue to the origins of dinosaurs

So what is present in this new site? One animal is known as a silesaurid - a weird reptile from a group of dinosaur ancestors called a dinosauriform, known just from a thigh bone. Another is probably one of the most ancestral theropod dinosaurs, typically known from South America, called a herrerasaurid – however, there’s still quite a bit of debate about what position these guys occupied around the origin of dinosaurs. Another specimen is a definite theropod dinosaur, known from parts of the hip bones, as well as a neotheropod (a dinosaur that could bend the Matrix to it’s will – ha. ha.), known from a portion of the tibia – one of the lower leg bones.
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