Mokele-mbembe, Philippe Coudray

The mokele-mbembe drawn as a living sauropod by Philippe Coudray.

Other names: Le'kela-bembe,[note 1] mbokalemuembe,[note 2] mbulu-em'bembe, m'kuoo-m'bemboo, m'(o)ke-n'be, nwe[note 3]
Country reported: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo

The mokele-mbembe (Lingala: "water monster", "one who stops the flow of rivers",[1] or "he who divides the waters"; pronounced "mo-kay-lee mmmbem-bee"[2]) is a cryptid reported from the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, described as a very large, water-dwelling animal with a long neck, a small head, and a long tail.[2][1]

Since the mokele-mbembe was first described, it has been speculated that it may be a living sauropod dinosaur, although a wide range of other identities, reptilian and mammalian, have been proposed.[1] There are a number of other dinosaur-like cryptids reported from the Congo region, and the mokele-mbembe is often confused with many of these, - especially the emela-ntouka - as well as with water elephants and forest rhinoceroses, even by local people.[3][4] The name may also be used in the Congo as a generic term for any large, unknown animals.[2] In recent years, the mokele-mbembe has become one of the most famous of cryptids, on par with such stalwarts as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and the yeti.[4]


Mokele-mbembe rendered as sauropod, David Miller under direction of Prof Roy P Mackal

Reconstruction of the mokele-mbembe as a sauropod by David Miller, under the supervision of Roy P. Mackal. Dale A. Drinnon notes that this reconstruction is somewhat undersized.

The mokele-mbembe is described as being the size of an elephant or larger, up to thirty-five feet in length, although it's height at the shoulder is apparently only five to seven feet. It's skin is smooth and reddish-brown or brownish-grey,[1] although in some accounts it is explicitly described as being scaly.[5]

Most notably, it is said to have a very long, flexible neck, between six and twelve feet in length and as thick as a man's thigh. It's head is small and serpentine, and in some accounts the male has a single horn or tusk, though this claim is believed to be a result of confusion with the emela-ntouka, and Mackal's informants told him that the mokele-mbembe does not have a horn.[2][3] It is also sometimes described as having a cockerel-like crest on its head.[6] It has a long, muscular tail unlike any other large African mammal, and it's feet are like those of an elephant.[1]

The mokele-mbembe's flesh is allegedly poisonous to humans. Mackal's informants wrote that, after the 1959 incident in which several people died after eating a dead mokele-mbembe, the animals were never killed to eat. Mackal was also told that the mokele-mbembe is "the god of the river. He never dies".[2]

It leaves highly distinct tracks, different from any other animal of Central Africa.[7] They are like those of a hippopotamus, but larger than an elephant's, at least twelve inches in diameter, and have only three toes, each with a claw.[1] Photographs of tracks also show them sunken very deep into the ground, suggesting they were made by a very heavy animal. In addition, the mokele-mbembe is also said to leave behind a furrow, like that made by a large snake or a wagon wheel, when it exits the water.[1]

Mokele-mbembe feeding, Philippe Coudray

Illustration of the mokele-mbembe feeding on a malombo liana, by Philippe Coudray.

Although the mokele-mbembe is amphibious and is almost always encountered in rivers and lakes, it is said to live in the forest, and only enters the water to feed on the applelike fruits of malombo lianas (Landolphia mannii and Landolphia owariensis, which it eats exclusively),[2] although it is also supposed to sleep in caves along the riverbank, which it digs itself. It is said to live alone or in pairs, and is most often seen in the early morning and late afternoon.[1] Most sightings occur during the dry season.[3]

The mokele-mbembe is notoriously foul-tempered and territorial, and is said to overturn canoes and kill the occupants with its tail. It has a famous hatred of hippopotamuses, which it will kill, along with elephants and crocodiles. Herman Regusters, who claimed to have recorded it, said that it had a "deep-throated, trumpeting growl",[1] but according to Mackal, it is said to be a silent animal.[3]

The mokele-mbembe is specifically reported from:[1]

The reverence in which native people hold the mokele-mbembe has made it very difficult for cryptozoologists to gather information about it. According to tradition, anyone who sees a mokele-mbembe and afterwards speaks about it will soon die, and many people are unwilling to discuss their encounters out of fear of being attacked by the village elders. When Rory Nugent tried to row closer to what he believed was a mokele-mbembe on Lake Tele, his Congolese guides threatened to murder him, pointing a shotgun and a spear at his head and body.[3]

Physical evidenceEdit


In September 1992, a Japanese film crew led by Tatsuo Wantanabe shot a controversial video showing fifteen seconds of what they believed was a mokele-mbembe crossing Lake Tele.[1] The video itself does not appear to be available online in full, but there are a number of screencaps allegedly taken from it (1, 2).

Another alleged photograph of the mokele-mbembe (3) has often appeared on the internet, but there is no background on it.

Zoologist Marcellin Agnagna recorded a 15-foot animal with a long neck swimming through Lake Tele on 1 May 1983, but the film was on an incorrect setting and proved worthless.[1]


This section needs expanding.

As mentioned above, the mokele-mbembe leaves large, hippopotamus-like tracks with three clawed toes. George Eberhart describes it tracks as:[1]

"Hippopotamus-like but bigger than an elephant's, or 12 inches in diameter. Three clawed toes. [It] Also makes a furrow like that made by a large snake or a wagon wheel."

The tracks of the mokele-mbembe have often been reported - supposedly since the 18th Century - but have not always been photographed. At least three photographs of supposed mokele-mbembe tracks exist (1, 2), including one taken by cryptozoologist Michel Ballot in Cameroon's Bee Island in 2013. Ballot's tracks were 12 inches in diameter, and did not resemble the tracks of any known Central African animal.[7]

Audio recordingsEdit

On 4 November 1981, Herman Regusters, who was leading an expedition to Lake Tele in search of the mokele-mbembe, heard and recorded an animal making a loud growl (1).[1][8]

Living dinosaurs Mokele-mbembe Sound Recording (Levande dinosaurier Mokele-mbembe ljudinspelning)

Living dinosaurs Mokele-mbembe Sound Recording (Levande dinosaurier Mokele-mbembe ljudinspelning)

(1) The original recording.


The only native African image generally believed the depict the mokele-mbembe is a 6 inch tall wooden sculpture (1, 2) of unknown origin, depicting two individuals, currently housed at Glencomeragh House in County Tipperary in Ireland. It is believed to have originated in West Africa, and has been at the house since at least the 1950's, although at least one researcher claimed that it looked like a modern creation.[5]

Karl Shuker notes that, although the larger individual closely resembles a sauropod dinosaur, it also has a number of unusual features, including the large, overlapping, pangolin-like scales covering the animals body, and the "rayed fin-like structure" on the underside of the tail. Brother Richard Hendrick, a friar who bought the carving to attention, suggested this structure is a cloacal opening.[5]

The smaller animal has the same scales and fin structure as the larger animal, but it lacks the long, sauropod-like neck, it's head is different - more fishlike - and the scales are absent from its lower limbs. As such, it is debated whether or not the smaller animal is supposed to be the same species as the larger. Penny Odell suggests that it is, and that the artist did not depict the smaller animal's neck because the piece of wood they were carving with was not large enough.[5]

An Ashanti sculpture from Ghana, claimed to depict a "little gold dinosaur" (3) has also been held up as supporting evidence for the mokele-mbembe,[9] although it may be more accurate to describe it as evidence for living dinosaurs in general, and not specifically for the mokele-mbembe, which is not reported from Ghana.[3] Dale A. Drinnon believes the Ashanti sculpture actually represents a monitor lizard.[10]

A piece of rock art from Kuppenhole, Tanzania (4) has also been suggested to depict a mokele-mbembe, as it shows an animal with a long neck held low, and a long, thick tail.[11] However, others have pointed out that, for some reason, giraffes are usually depicted in East African art as having low-held heads and long tails.[12]



During Roy P. Mackal and James Powell's 1980 expedition to the Republic of the Congo, they gathered several second-hand accounts of the mokele-mbembe, including stories that they had been seen feeding, or sleeping in riverbank caves. During his 1981 expedition, Mackal collected more than thirty eyewitness accounts.[2][6] Eugene Thomas also claimed to have heard the roars of the mokele-mbembe during the night, and had two encounters, in 1979 and 1989.[13]

circa late 18th CenturyEdit

The earliest presumed account of the mokele-mbembe dates from the second half of the Eighteenth Century, as recorded by Liévin-Bonaventure Proyart in 1776. Proyart wrote that:[14][2]

"The Missionaries have observed, passing along a forest, the trail of an animal they have not seen but which must be monstrous: the marks of his claws were noted upon the earth, and these composed a footprint of about three feet in circumference. By observing the disposition of his footsteps, it was recognized that he was not running in his passage, and he carried his legs at the distance of seven to eight feet apart."

Roy P. Mackal writes that, although the tracks must have been made by a large animal between the size of a rhinoceros or a hippopotamus and an elephant, but also by an animal which had claws, there are not enought details to ascertain whether or not they were the tracks of a mokele-mbembe.[2]

1888 or 1889Edit

According to palaeontologist Louis S. Jacobs, during Henry Morton Stanley's Emin Pasha Relief Expedition (1887-1890), which passed through the Ituri Rainforest, local people described a dinosaur-like animal to Stanley, drawing its shape in the dirt.[15]


The first known report of the mokele-mbembe to reach European ears came in 1913, when the Freiherr von Stein zu Lausnitz collected information on the animal from the French Congo during the Likuala-Kongo Expedition. He cautiously referred to the animal as a "very mysterious thing" which "possibly does not exist except in the imagination of the natives," but was "probably based on something more tangible".[2] The details he was given on the mokele-mbembe are mostly identical to those given in modern times by Congolese informants:

"The creature is reported not to live in the smaller rivers like the two Likualas, and in the rivers mentioned only a few individuals are said to exist. At the time of our expedition a specimen was reported from the non-navigable part of the Sanga River, somewhere between the two rivers Mbaio and Pikunda; unfortunately in a pan of the river that could not be explored due to the brusque end of our expedition. We also heard about the alleged animal at the Ss8mbo River. The narratives of the natives result in a general description that runs as follows: The animal is said to be of a brownish-gray color with a smooth skin, its size approximately that of an elephant; at least that of a hip-popotamus. It is said to have a long and very flexible neck and only one tooth but a very long one; some say it is a horn. A few spoke about a long muscular tail like that of an alligator. Canoes coming near it are said to be doomed; the animal is said to attack the vessels at once and to kill the crews but without eating the bodies. The creature is said to live in the caves that have been washed out by the river in the clay of its shores at sharp bends. It is said to climb the shore even at daytime in search of food; its diet is said to be entirely vegetable. This feature disagrees with a possible explanation as a myth. The preferred plant was shown to me, it is a kind of liana with large white blossoms, with a milky sap and apple-like fruits. At the SsOmbo river I was shown a path said to have been made by this animal in order to get at its food. The path was fresh and there were plants of the des-cribed type near by. But since there were too many tracks of elephants, hippos, and other large mammals it was impossible to make out a particular spoor with any amount of certainty."

The information was confirmed by explorer Leo von Boxberger, whose notes on the mokele-mbembe were lost during an attack on his caravan by the Fang people. He wrote that:[2]

"My own contribution to the subject is unfortunately very small. At the mouth of Mbam in Sanaga in Central Cameroons and on the Ntem in Southern Cameroons, I collected a variety of data from the natives about the mysterious water-beast, but alas, all my notes and also the local description of the animal were lost in Spanish Guinea when the Pangwe attacked the caravan carrying my few belongings. All that I can report is the name mbokalemuembe given to the animal in Southern Cameroons...
"The belief in a gigantic water-animal described as a reptile with a long thin neck, exists among the natives throughout the Southern Cameroons, wherever they form part of the Congo basin and also to the west of this area, doubtless wherever the great riven are broad and deep and are flanked by virgin forest."


Ivan T. Sanderson claimed to have had a sighting of the mokele-mbembe in 1932, along with his friend Gerald Russell, on the Mainyu River. Both men were taking part in the Percy Sladen Expedition to Cameroon. According to Mackal:[2]

"When Sanderson, in the company of the American naturalist Gerald Russell, arrived at Mamfe Pool on the Mainyu River, they came to a place that had many caves in the cliff-like river banks, many partially or almost completely filled with river water. They reported a loud, noisy disturbance, as of fighting beasts, comingfrom one of the caves. Both saw the back of something larger than ahippopotamus break the surface, immediately submerging after only a momentarydisplay. Farther upstream near the confluence of the Cross River, they saw "vasthippo-like tracks: although there were no hippopotami [sic] in the area". Sanderson was told there were no hippos because this creature, the "embulu-em'bembe (Sanderson's spelling), drove them away. Sanderson stated that thetracks they found on the Mainyu River could not possibly have been made by acrocodile. He believed that what was observed rising in the cave was the head ofthe creature. In 1971, Sanderson, in a letter to James Powell, wrote that its head "was bigger than a whole hippo, and the tracks were sauropod". This reference by Sanderson to a large head belonging to a sauropod always bothered me a greatdeal. Sanderson knew very well that all sauropods had long necks with smallheads. However, as we discovered during my expeditions, the term mokele-mbembe is used for the long-necked, small-headed sauropod animal, on the onehand, and in a generic sense for other unidentified animals."

Karl Shuker believes that, whatever the animal was, it is more likely that it was it's back, not it's head, which Sanderson saw surface, as any animal whose head was larger than an entire hippopotamus would be unreasonably large.[16]


A Bantu man named Firman Mosomele claimed to have had a traumatic encounter with a mokele-mbembe on a river near Epena in the Likouala Region of northeastern Republic of the Congo in 1935. He was alone on a small boat when he saw an animal with a long, red-brown neck about six feet long, and a small head. As he paddled away, he caught a glimpse of the animal's brown back in the water. Forty-five years later, Mackal and James Powell interviewed Mosomele, who identified the animal he saw with a picture of a sauropod shown to him by Mackal and Powell.[2][6]


Mokele-mbembe by William Rebsamen

Illustration bu William Rebsamen of the 1959 incident in which a mokele-mbembe was allegedly killed and eaten.

Perhaps the most famous mokele-mbembe sighting is said to have occurred in 1959, when one was allegedly killed by a group of pygmies around Lake Tele by placing a barrier in the river and spearing the animal to death. The account was first reported from Eugene Thomas.[2] According to Bill Gibbons:[17]

"Around 1960, the forest dwelling pygmies of the Lake Tele region (the Bangombe tribe), fished daily in the lake near the Molibos, or water channels situated at the north end of the lake. These channels merge with the swamps, and were used by Mokele-mbembes to enter the lake where they would browse on the vegetation. This daily excursion into the lake by the animals disrupted the pygmies fishing activities. Eventually, the pygmies decided to erect a stake barrier across the molibo in order to prevent the animals from entering the lake.
"When two of the animals were observed attempting to break through the barrier, the pygmies speared one of the animals to death and later cut it into pieces. This task apparently took several days due to the size of the animal, which was described as being bigger than a forest elephant with a long neck, a small snake-like or lizard-like head, which was decorated with a comb-like frill. The pygmy spearmen also described a long, flexible tail, a smooth, reddish-brown skin and four stubby, but powerful legs with clawed toes. Pastor Thomas also mentioned that the two pygmies mimicked the cry of the animal as it was being attacked and speared. Later, a victory feast was held, during which parts of the animal were cooked and eaten. However, those who participated in the feast eventually died, either from food poisoning or from natural causes."

circa 1960'sEdit

An eyewitness named Nicolas Mondongo claimed to have encountered a mokele-mbembe sometime in the 1960's. He claimed to have got a good look at it, as the water it was standing in was only three feet deep. Mondongo said that it the animal was about thirty-three feet long from snout to tail tip, and had a red-brown neck as thick as a man's thigh, and a cockscomb-like crest on its head.[2][6]


Mackal led an expedition to the Republic of the Congo from 27 October to 3 December 1981, alongside Eugene Thomas, Ikole Marien, Richard Greenwell, Justin Wilkinson, and Marcellin Agnagna. Mackal reported two possible mokele-mbembe sightings during his expedition.[1][6]

On the first occasion, whilst scouting a riverbank, the explorers heard a loud "plopping" sound, followed by a nearly foot-high wave which washed over one of the boats. The pygmies cried hysterically "mokele-mbembe, mokele-mbembe!". A half-hour search of the area revealed nothing, and it was concluded that the animal behind the wave could have been a mokele-mbembe.[2][3]

The second incident occurred whilst Mackal was exploring a deep river with a sonar device. Twenty feet below the surface, the sonar detected a twenty-foot-long object which remained still for several minutes before moving off and disappearing. It was suggested that this animal may have been a large Nile crocodile.[2]

Mokele-Mbembe, Bill Rebsamen

Painting of the mokele-mbembe by William Rebsamen.

The Herman Regusters Expedition to Lake Tele lasted from 9 October to 9 December 1981, during a similar timeframe as Mackal's 1981 expedition. During this time, Regusters and his wife Kia claimed to have encountered the mokele-mbembe four times.[1][6]

On 28 October, at 5:30 in the evening, Regusters' team noticed large "pertubations" on the surface of the lake, and the next morning, a dark "long necklike member" was spotted moving across the lake from a distance of about a mile. It stayed in view for five minutes before submerging.[6]

On another occasion, on 4 November, both the Regusters' claimed to have heard and recorded a strange noise "best described as starting with a low windy roar, then increasing to a deep-throated trumpeting growl. Sounds of a large beast making [its way] through the bush were clearly distinguishable, as it moved away from us farther into the swamp".[6]

At another time, four expedition members claimed to have observed a large object moving through the water about 0.6 miles away from them. They claimed it was too large to be the back of a hippopotamus, and wasn't the right shape to be a crocodile.[6]

Finally, on 27 November, Kia Regusters claimed to have seen a 6.5 foot long snakelike head and neck projecting from the water. It swayed back and forth once, then sank straight down.[6]

Bill Gibbons does not believe that the Regusters' observed any mokele-mbembes, as he was not able to locate any of the other eyewitnesses who were supposedly with them during the sightings.[17]


Zoologist Marcellin Agnagna led his own expedition to the Likouala Swamp and Lake Tele area from 3 April to 17 May 1983. Agnagna claimed that on 1 May, he and others observed, for twenty minutes, a fifteen-foot long animal with a wide back and a long neck swimming in the lake. Although it was recorded, the film was on an incorrect setting, and proved worthless.[1] Gibbons writes that Agnagna changed his story several times.[17]


In September 1992, a Japanese film crew led by Tatsuo Watanabe shot a controversial video showing fifteen seconds of what they believed was a mokele-mbembe crossing Lake Tele.[1]


A village security officer of Moloundou in Cameroon claimed to have seen a le'kela-bembe in the Boumba River in February 2000. The animal stopped swimming downstream when it saw a ferry approaching, and moved away upstream.[1]


A mokele-mbembe sighting was reported from the Dja River in very late 2005. The eyewitness was interviewed by Bill Gibbons.[18]


Mistaken identityEdit

African softshell turtle

Some authors believe that certain mokele-mbembe sightings can be explained by African softshell turtles (Trionyx triunguis)

Hippopotamus in the rainforest

Eberhart suggests that an encounter with a disturbed hippopotamus could shock an unwary traveller into thinking they had seen a mokele-mbembe.

Elephant swimming

It has been suggested that the head and trunk of a swimming elephant could be mistaken for the mokele-mbembe.

Several cryptozoologists including Karl Shuker believe that some reports may be based on sightings of poorly-observed giant African softshell turtles (Trionyx triunguis). When seen swimming at a distance, with most of its shell submerged, a softshell turtle's long neck could certainly make it resemble the top half of a sauropod.[3] Gibbons and Mackal both believe that the animal seen by Agnagna was a softshell turtle, as the sketch which he prepared of it showed an animal with a distinct, elongated snout, like that of the softshell turtle.[3] Dale A. Drinnon believes that the animal killed at Lake Tele in 1959 was a large turtle. According to Drinnon, the short stumpy legs with clawed feet clearly identify the animal as a turtle, not a sauropod, and he writes off the it's large size, long tail, and crest as "confusions of description".[17] The ndendecki, a giant cryptid turtle which may be a very large softshell turtle, is also reported from the Lake Tele region.[1] However, Karl Shuker concludes that, although some sightings could be explained by softshell turtles, sightings in which most of the animal's body was seen at close range cannot.[3]

George Eberhart notes that, during the rainy season, hippopotamuses are said to hibernate in caves along riverbanks, just as the mokele-mbembe is said to. He suggests that a sudden encounter with a disturbed hippo could "surprise and confuse the unwary traveller", and proposes that this could explain Sanderson's 1932 sighting.[1] Shuker writes that a hippopotamus can be readily discounted as the culprit behind most sightings, as hippos are not known from the Likouala area, and of course lack almost all of the mokele-mbembe's physical characteristics.[3]

The African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) does occur in the mokele-mbembe's range, but it is too small to be confused with it, and is almost neckless, with no hind limbs and a spatulate tail fin. Shuker notes that it resembles the mokele-mbembe even less than a hippopotamus.[3]

Others have suggested that sightings could be explained by elephants swimming, with only their heads and trunks protruding from the surface.[1] In Shuker's opinion, this explanation "beggars belief," as such encounters would be very uncommon, and someone who knows an elephant would not be likely to mistake it, even half-submerged, for something else.[3]

Unknown elephant or unknown crocodileEdit

This section needs expanding with relevant information.

Pat Spain theorised the mokele-mbembe could be an unknown species of elephant or crocodilian.[19]

Living sauropodEdit

The most widely-known explanation for the mokele-mbembe is that it is a living sauropod dinosaur, the animal which most generally agrees with its physical description, excepting the sometimes-reported horn or comb. Sauropods known from sub-Saharan Africa include Barosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Dicraeosaurus from Tanzania, and Janenschia and Malawisaurus from Malawi.[1] This theory has been prominent since the mokele-mbembe first came to light, and is championed by Bill Gibbons.[2]

Apatosaurus Knight

Painting by Charles R. Knight of Brontosaurus half submerged in a swampy lake.

Shuker notes that the Likouala region is a "centre of endemism"; a largely-inaccessible area mostly unchanged for millions of years, with many species found nowhere else, including several ancient animals which have died out in other areas. Its geological history since the Cretaceous has been free of earthquakes, mountain formation or subsidence, glaciations, or climatic changes, and as a result it has enjoyed "a degree of environmental stability experienced by few other zoogeographical communities in Africa". Consequently, Shuker writes that, if there is anywhere in Africa where dinosaurs may have persisted, it is the Likouala swamps.[3]

Renowned biomechanist McNeill Alexander investigated whether dinosaurs were cold-blooded or warm-blooded, and calculated that, unless it lost a lot of water through evaporation, a warm-blooded terrestrial sauropod living in a hot climate would be liable to overheat. If they were cold-blooded, this would not be a problem, and Shuker notes that the mokele-mbembe's behaviour means it would function most effectively if it were cold-blooded.[3]

Alexander also calculated that, despite their great size, a large dinosaur would use energy at roughly the same rate as a mammal with only one-fifth its body mass. In other words, for every elephant sustained by a given amount of vegetation, that same amount of vegetation could sustain one sauropod. Shuker notes that this would explain how the mokele-mbembe lives on something as instubstantional as the malombo plant.[3]

Herman Regusters identified the mokele-mbembe as an Ouranosaurus, a twenty-four foot bipedal iguanodontid dinosaur known from North Africa. However, Regusters was under the impression that Ouranosaurus was a sauropod.[1]

Dale A. Drinnon argues against the possibility of the mokele-mbembe being a living sauropod, noting that a breeding population of large dinosaurs would likely "strip all the edible vegetation from their territory, especially if they lived only in certain bends of the river",[10] although, as noted above, this may not be the case. Drinnon also believes the reported anatomy of the mokele-mbembe clashes with that of a sauropod. He writes that the mokele-mbembe is described as having lizard-like legs which "stuck on the sides of the belly like a lizard's legs", and is described as sliding onto land on its belly.[10]

Unknown monitor lizardEdit

Giant Congo monitor

Concept of the mokele-mbembe as a giant monitor lizard, by an unknown artist.

Mackal, cautious of supposing the mokele-mbembe to be a living dinosaur, first suggested it could be an extremely large monitor lizard.[3] Dale A. Drinnon also theorises that the mokele-mbembe could be a new species of giant, long-necked monitor lizard similar to the nsama, nguma-monene, and chipekwe.[10]

Drinnon speculates that the mokele-mbembe does not in fact kill hippopotamuses and elephants, but is frequently confused with the emela-ntouka, which in his theory does kill these animals. However, it would scavenge the carcasses of hippos and elephants, and could eradicate crocodiles by eating their eggs. It would also kill off rival Nile monitors (Varanus niloticus), which Drinnon notes are absent from several regions of the Congo where one would expect them to live.[10]

Karl Shuker is sceptical of this theory, noting that no lizard with a neck anywhere near the length of the mokele-mbembe's is known; and that most lizards, including monitors, have five toes, whereas the mokele-mbembe has three.[3]

Living plesiosaurEdit

Drinnon also speculates that certain mokele-mbembe sightings could be explained by long-necked sea serpents, which he supposes are living plesiosaurs, travelling inland by river.[10]

Living indricothereEdit

Indricotherium by Zdenek Burian

Reconstruction of Indricotherium by Zdenek Burian.

Loren Coleman has suggested that, if the mokele-mbembe is a mammal, it could be a living indricothere (Indricotherium/Paraceratherium/Baluchitherium). With a shoulder height of about 4.8 metres (15.7 feet), and a length of about 7.4 metres (24.3 feet), the herbivorous Indricotherium was the size of some sauropod dinosaurs, and is within the reported size range of the mokele-mbembe, if not even larger. Most modern reconstructions show indricotheres as having long, sauropod-like necks, although some depict them with short, bulky necks. A French palaeontological expedition to Pakistan also reconstructed Indricotherium's habitat as tropical jungle.[20] Indricotherium is not currently known from Africa, and had a regular rhinoceros' tail, not a long, heavy one.

Similar cryptidsEdit

Do you think the Mokele-mbembe exists? If so, what do you think the Mokele-mbembe is?

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Further cryptozoological readingEdit

  • Mackal, Roy P. (1987) A Living Dinosaur? In Search of Mokele-Mbembe
  • Gibbons, William J. (2010) Mokele-Mbembe: Mystery Beast of the Congo Basin

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Baka
  2. in Cameroon
  3. Ewondo
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 Eberhart, George (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Mackal, Roy P. (1987) A Living Dinosaur? In Search of Mokele-Mbembe
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Shuker, Karl (1995) In Search of Prehistoric Survivors
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 ShukerNature: A SCALY STATUETTE OF THE MOKELE-MBEMBE?
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Emmer, Rick (2010) Mokele-mbembe: Fact Or Fiction?
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Plausible Monster? Part Two | John K. Patterson
  8. Cryptomundo >> Herman Regusters, 72, has died
  9. Coudray, Philippe (2016) Guide des Animaux Cachés
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Frontiers of Zoology: REPOSTING: Congo Dragons And The Colossal Confusions Over The Colossal Beasts
  11. Frontiers of Zoology: Surviving Sivatheres
  12. Cryptodraco: Mokèlé-Mbèmbé, A Living Dinosaur? Part Two: Native Art
  13. Cryptomundo >> Mokele-mbembe's Rev. Eugene Thomas, 78, dies
  14. Proyart, Liévin-Bonaventure (1776) Histoire de Loango, Kakongo, et autres royaumes d’Afrique
  15. Jacobs, Louis S. (1993) Quest for the African Dinosaurs
  16. Shuker, Karl (2016) Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot?
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Frontiers of Zoology: Was a Mokele-mbembe killed at Lake Tele?
  18. Cryptomundo >> Breaking News: Mokele-mbembe Sighted
  19. Beast Man: African Swamp Monster
  20. Cryptomundo >> Maybe Mokele-Mbembes Are Mammals