Monday, February 13, 2012

Dog walks in Mud: That's News!

 So one topic which doesn't crop up very often on this blog is my fascination with cryptozoology, the study of hidden species (or to use more populist vernacular, "creepy x-files type weirdness"). Don't get me wrong I'm no Nessie-hunter but I do believe that the textbooks aren't all the way there yet and in a number of places there are new large species yet to reveal themselves.

I'm also pretty convinced there are largish cats on the loose in the UK. Not Panthera sp. big cats, but smaller species like the lynxes and jungle cats. So I was intrigued to see a headline in the Sun proclaiming that signs of big cats had been discovered in Somerset (England's) Mendis Hills. Check it out. What an awesome picture of a dog paw print.

Note those ferocious looking claw prints in the Sun's picture? Big cats don't have those. They have retractable claws so their footprints look fluffy and soft like this:

leopard track
Leopard pug mark, Yala NP, Sri Lanka 2010.

The exception to the rule is the Cheetah which keeps its claws extended but guess what: the Sun's photo isn't that either. Its a dog: "Dog Bites Man, that's not news. Dog walks in Mud, now that's news!".


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