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Cryptid cetaceans and pinnipeds

A picture of morgawr, a sea beast which dwells of off Cornwall, which is most likely a long-necked sea lion

The creatures listed here are members of the order cetacea (whales, dolphins, zueglodonts, ect) and pinnipeds (seals, sealions, walruses, ect) that are not recognised officially by science. Although many lake monsters are thought to be some kind of primitve whale or some sort of long-necked seal, I will only list here animals which are described as a whale or seal. There a couple of exceptions, and I will get to them in due time. I will list pinnipeds first, then cetaceans.

  • Northern leopard seal (North Pacific Coast and Arctic Ocean NA): Leopard seals are very distinctive, 12 foot seals with an almost reptilian appearence to them. They are thought ot live only in the Antarctic. However, some Inuit myths describe a sea-monster, known as the tizheruk or pal rai yuk, which fits the description of a leopard seal, and the fishermen of the British Columbian and Washinton coasts claim that leopard seals are common. Probably either a northern race of the leopard seal, or a seperate species.

  • BC freshwater seal (British Columbia NA): A small seal is said to live in various lakes in the interior of BC. They are supposedly exactly the same as common seals, but they live landlocked in the lakes. Not a new species, just landlocked populations of common seals.

  • Washington white seal (Waters near Puget Sound and Birch Bay, Washington NA): Pure white seals have been seen in the waters of this area, especially Birch Bay. I myself have seen these seals from a distance, and have talked with several people who have been very close to them. definitely an undescribed species of seal, or perhaps a pure white colour morph of the common seal.

  • Lake Simcoe seal (Ontario NA): Also known as Igopogo, the "monster" of Lake Simcoe is definitely a species of large seal. A recent videotape of the creature shows an enormous seal, over 15 feet long, bursting out of the water vertically and then going back down, leaving it's head at surface level. the seal is only there for about 30 seconds, and it's species has never been determined. I have yet to locate this video. Igopogo is always described as being a huge seal-like creaure. Most likely a species of freshwater seal that got into the lake through the St.Lawrence River.

  • Long-necked sealion (Waters across the world, including some landlocked lakes): A theory proposed a while back is that many "plesiosaur"-like creatures are in fact giant sealions with long necks, and this hypothesised creature was named Megalotaria. This was prompted because many sea and lake monsters world wide were said to resemble plesiosaurs, but have whiskers and ears and are overall pinniped-like. Could be a new family or subfamily of the Pinnipeds, or perhaps an offshoot of the walrus line.

  • Morgawr (Cornwall in the UK EUROPE): The name morgawr means "sea giant" in the ancient Cornish language, and that name is very fitting, as the morgawr is an enormously huge creature that has truly frightened it's witnesses by it's sheer size alone. The single photograph of this creature (on the top of the page) supports the hypothesis that it is a pinniped. The descriptions give it small ears, flippers like a sealion's, and it's skin was described as "looking like that of a sealion". Probably an example of Megalotaria.

  • Merhorse (Waters across the world): A pinniped creature proposed by Heuvelmans. He suggested that there is an elongate pinniped, which he dubbed "merhorse", that is responsible for many of the "maned serpent" reports, where a creature described as being a "serpent with flippers, a horses head and a long mane" is seen. A pinniped could easily fit this description, and the wasgo or Cadborosaurus from the Pacific North West is a perfect fit for this model.

  • Steller's sea-ape (Off of Bering Island in the Bering Straight ARCTIC): A creatue which Steller called a sea-ape, not from the creature's appearence but from the antics and tricks it did while playing in the water. He said it's head resembled a wolf, but it had no front flipprs and an assymetrical tail. As no other sea-apes have been seen, it was possibly just a mis-identification of an animal he had never seen before, a California sealion, or it could've been some new species.

  • BC freshwater dolphins (British Columbia NA): Same thing as with the freshwater seals. Common Pacific dolphins that live in many of the interior lakes of British Columbia. Just isolated populations of the common dolphin species.

  • Altamaha-ha (South Georgia and nearby region NA): This creature is Georgia's equivelent of the Loch Ness monster in popularity, but unlike nessie this creature is most definitely some kind of cetacean. It's description places it either as some archaeocete, such as a zueglodont, or a freshwater dolphin of the family Platanistidae.

  • Amazonian ridge-backed dolphin (Amazon River SA): A strange creature that is mentioned in the tribal lore of the natives in that region, it is a large river dolphin, of a pinkish-brown colour, which has a continous row of small, triangular ridges down it's back, like several small dorsal fins next to each other. This feature is also exhibited by the Altamaha-ha. There is photograph of this creature, which shows it's back while diving. I have seen this photo many times and am convinced it's the real thing. Is either a new species of river dolphin, or a freak mutation of normal dolphins. Possibly the same creature as the Altamaha-ha, or at least a close relative.

  • High-finned sperm whale (Seas around the Shetland Islands EUROPE): A kind of sperm whale (genus Physeter, also known under the name of cacholot) observed off of the shetland Islands in times past, and described as Physeter tursio by Robert Sibbald. It differed from the single known species of Physeter, P. catodon, in having a tall dorsal fin, "like a mizen mast". It could be a species intermediate between the sperm whale group, and the dolphin group. However, it is more likely to represent an atavism, as the pygmy and dwarf sperm whales, Kogia sp., possess dorsal fins.

  • White-finned beaked whale (North Atlantic Ocean): Beaked whales are a strange, primitive group of whales, and half of the species are known only from a single specimen. They look like huge whales with the head of a dolphin and large tusks. There are probably twice as many unrecorded species of beaked whale as there are known ones, and one species which ahs no known specimen has been oftenly seen in the North Atlantic. It is pure black above, pure white below with flippers that are white all over.

  • Shovelheaded whale (Mexican Coast NA): Another beaked whale. It has a flattened head, hence the name, and a low dorsal fin with a wide base. The animals dark in colour, the larger individuals, presumably adults, have light "racing stripes" along their bodies. Definitely an unrecorded species of beaked whale.

  • Sabre-finned whale (Antarctic Ocean): A whale observed in Antarcticwaters which, like the orca, has a tall sabre-like dorsal fin. It lacks the distinct patterning of the orca, however, and has a different size. A small group of nearly identical whales was observed off of the South American coast, and photographed. My bet is an unidentified species of orca.

    Giglioli's whale

  • Giglioli's whale (Much of the world's waters): This is the name given to a species of baleen whale, Amphiptera pacifica, which is said to posess the remarkable characterisitc of two dorsal fins, something entirely unknown in cetaceans. Only one other cetacean has two dorsal fins, the rhinoceros dolphin, andthisis also a cryptid. Giglioli's whale was described by Enrico Hillyer Giglioli, while onboard the Magenta, just offthe coast of Chile. Such animals have also ben seen off the coast of Scotland and in the Mediteranean. These are definitely a new species and genus, the name of which has to be that proposed by Giglioli, and they may even belong to a seperate sub-family of the Baelenopteridae, in which case Amphipterinae has been reserved, also by Giglioli. We can only wiat until one is hauled in....

  • Antarctic narwhal (Antarctic Ocean): Narwhals are strictly Arctic animals; the water in temperate and tropical zones being much too hot for them to survive. But, narwhals have been said to live in the Anarctic region too, and there is one confirmed sighting from Bransfield Strait in the Antarctic Ocean. If there is an antarctic narwhal, it can't be a southren population of the northern species becuase they are non-migratory and can't leave frigid waters. Most likely a second species that developed from the remnant population of a once-continuous distribution. In simpler terms, narwhals may once have ranged throughout the oceans, but slowly died off until they lived only at the poles, the two populations diverging until they were seperate species.

  • Alula whale (Gulf of Aden MIDDLE EAST): Orcas have been seen in the Gulf of Aden that were a sepia brown colour rather than black. I do not know much else, and any information regarding these whales is much appreciated. However, they are probably either a lcoal colour variant or just a chance mutation.

  • Rhinoceros dolphin (The Mediterranean and the waters around the Sandwich Islands and New South Wales): Described as Delphinus rhinoceros by Quoy and Gaimard, these are dolphins - or dolphin-like whales - which possess two dorsal fins. One is near the head, where the neck would be on terrestrial animals,and theotheris farther back than usual. These have a somehwat large size,and are black with large white blotches. However, their existence was never proven and their identity remains unknown. They may belong to a new genus, in which case the name Cetodipterus rhinoceros has been proposed by Raynal.

  • Greek dolphin (The Mediterranean EUROPE): Looks just like the striped dolphin but lacks the "harness" pattern. Definitely just a local colour variant.

  • Senegal dolphin (Senegal Coast AFRICA): Looks exactly like the brindled dolphin. Must be a population of brindled dolphins which lives off the coast of Senegal, which is not where those dolphins are usually found.

  • Illigian dolphin (Mindanao Sea INDONESIA): Has a brown back, yellow along it's sides, and a pink belly. Is shaped like the mellon-headed whale, a kind of pilot whale. Most probably a new, rather interestingly coloured, species of pilot whale from the tropics.

  • Scott's dolphin (Magellan Straits): An unidentified dolphin was spotted in this region a while back. I know nothing about it, so if you have any info please contact me.

  • Chilean mystery porpoise (Coast of Chile SA): Unknown porpoises that were about four feet long, very stout, were brown on top and white on the bottom. Obviously a new species of porpoise.

  • "super otter" (Arctic ocean): A large aquatic mammal which was commonly seen up until the end of the 19th century. It was described as being a huge otter-like mammal, with four limbs, a whale-like body and a long tail with little or no fluke. Most probably the remaining species of ancient, pre-zeuglodon archeaocetes. Most likley now extinct, because no reports have come in over the last 100 years, so it will be very hard to prove they ever existed.

  • Cetacean "centipede" (Tropical and subtropical waters the world over): A large, elongate whale-like creature with upwards from six legs, a long head and an armoured hide. Occasionally a two-headed individual is seen. Most probably a branch of the order Cetacea which we know nothing about, probably descended from the zueglodonts. Two-headed individuals may or may not represent their own species, but it is very likely that there are several species involved here (Heuvelman's gave them the name Cetioscolopendra for the genus). Must be a sperate family, or evn suborder, from the other cetaceans, and would be the only vertebrates with more than four limbs.