Dr. John Mantle Green is a Biologist-plant scientist (Ph.D. - plant science, M.S. - botany, B.S. - biological sciences). Both his Ph.D. dissertation and M.S. thesis research projects concerned experimentation with plant genetics. Drawing on his background in life science especially botany, Dr. Green has theorized methods for terraforming the planets and moons of our solar system. He extensively studied volcanology and other earth related sciences to provide himself additional insight into terraforming. As such he is well qualified to extrapolate on the nature of cryptospecies.

DMJ is a scientific generalist, theoretician, inventor, and author. They have collaborated in an attempt to shed light on what at first seems a rather murky subject.

A new phenomena is in the news, the Chupacabra or "goat- sucker". Witnesses report being attacked and terrorized by a creature which seems to defy current Zoological classification. The sightings first began in Puerto Rico, then migrated to Latin America, and recently Chupacabra have been reported in the southern United States.

There is disagreement as to exactly what the creatures look like. The radio personality, Art Bell, called it a griffin like animal. Other people have mentioned a beak and/or wings which would suggest that it might be some sort of an ornithoid (bird), or evolved from the bird class.

The Griffin is a mythical animal with a beak, neck, wings, and forelegs of an eagle. The body, the hind legs, and tail are those of a lion. The Griffin, and Gyphon are smaller variants. They often lack the lion like tail, but the description is generally similar to the Griffin. Dr. Green speculates that it would be possible for a Griffin like creature to evolve.

After the large predatory dinosaurs became extinct some sixty five million years ago, the giant birds were the first to reoccupy the top of the food chain. However as the early mammals exerted their anatomical advantages such as teeth, four legs, and live birth they quickly displaced both predatory and herbaceous birds from their preeminence. Large flightless birds, those alive today and those that survived the mammals, did so primarily in areas devoid of mammalian competition such as New Zealand, Tasmania, and Madagascar. Those on major continents survived by occupying specialized niches.

Consider that there have been authenticated cases of mutant ducks with four legs in addition to their wings. This type of mutation might have occurred in eagles or other predatory birds. An eagle with four legs might provide the evolutionary impetus required for the creation of a new kind of predator. One can speculate that a relatively large four legged eagle might retain it's ability to fly, a still larger version might be flightless, yet a formidable ground predator. The beak might become heaver than that of any living bird. For illustration consider the snapping turtle, who's heavy beak is able to crush the bones of an adult human's leg. If the genes for wing claws were present and became expressed then our theoretical creature might manifest wing spurs such as those of the South American Screamer, or the Stramer Duck. The final result would be an ornithoid carnivore with four legs, each with eagle like talons, a terrible rending beak, and wings with heavy stabbing spurs. This would certainly be a creature one would not want to meet in a dark ally or any place else for that matter. Smaller flying species might attack from the air adding yet another unpleasant aspect.

Art Bell claimed that the goat-sucker was griffin like on the April 28th, 1996 edition of his radio show, "Dreamland". Also Richard Greenwall of the International Society of Cryptozoology stated that he had received pelvic and other bones supposedly from a goat-sucker. Analysis showed that the bones were decidedly bird like, and may have come from an animal 3 to 4 feet in stature. Other witnesses allege that the goat-sucker has a beak and/or wings. It therefore seems possible that at least one of the types of creatures called a goat-sucker could in fact be a griffin like mutation.

Other witnesses report a far different creature. They describe a creature with the eyes one associates with the so called "grey" aliens, large black and without an apparent cornea, or iris. The creature they describe has the body of a dinosaur, some with and some without tails, and prominent fangs jutting from the lower and/or both jaws. These creatures, if real, are possibly not of terrestrial origin. Rumors abound in the UFO community of hybrid experimentation and these creatures appear to be some truly bazaar hybrid or completely extra-terrestrial animal. They are not described as having a dexterous hand, nor as using any form of technology, nor do they operate in an orderly fashion. Hence one might conclude that they are not a sapient species, but more like an animal, possibly related to whose from which the "grays" evolved.

Humans have an anthropoid jaw, that is a mouth which opens and closes vertically. Some of the Chupacabras have a similar arrangement, however some are reported to have a mouth more akin to terrestrial arthropods. Their jaws open and close horizontally like terrestrial insects, spiders, and crustaceans. Insects, Myriapods (centipedes and millipedes), and crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, etc) have one or more pairs of right and left mouth parts/jaws. The spiders have right and left fangs which mesh and supplement the mouth parts. The Chupacabra with the insect like head would be far to large to be mobile if it were a true insect with an exoskeleton. However one might speculate that orders of animals unknown among earth species might be very insect like, but with partial or completely internalized skeletons, and other characteristics associated with the higher animals. If a species like the insectoid Chupacabra actually exists then it is very likely not of terrestrial origin.

Chupacabra with pronounced fangs whether anthropoid or arthropoda may very well feed by sucking blood. Animals are found that have been drained of blood. They have 1, 2 or 4 vampire like fang marks. Others report that some animals show no signs of having been drained of blood. Again it seems that there may be more than one variety of Chupacabra.

To add to the intrigue some reports describe a Chupacabra as being like a large flying rat, which would seem to indicate that they are likely a bat of an unknown variety. Bats are classified by what they eat and generally fall within one of five categories. There are fruitivores or herbivores (fruit eating) bats, nectar eating bats, insectivore (insect eating) bats, vampire bats that drink blood from a variety of animals, and predatory bats which prey primarily on other bats.

It is possible that there much larger bats than are known. The tropical rain forest regions of earth are particularly suitable to hiding unknown species. Goat-suckers might be examples of large predatory and/or vampire bat species. A large predatory bat could attack from the air, and might even hunt in packs thereby emboldened to attack relatively large species of animals. Bats are primarily nocturnal, and the majority of Chupacabra attacks are reported at night.

Vampire bats which reside in central America are relatively small and feed not by puncturing a victim and sucking out the blood but by making painless incision with their razor sharp teeth and then lapping up the blood as in oozes from the wound. Their saliva contain an anticoagulant which prevent blood from clotting and hence as they drink the wound continues to bleed. Even a small vampire bat can cause a human to awaken covered with blood. A very large vampire species, particularly if they hunted in stealthy packs, might kill an adult human or even larger animals.

Many animals travel by flying in a tropical rain forest because the primary source of food is the green leafy canopy itself. Should an ecosystem which harbors a large unknown predatory bat species be disrupted or destroyed by human activity it is likely the displaced species would seek food elsewhere perhaps invading areas already occupied by humans. Human destruction of the rain forest will certainly bring man into contact with a previously unknown species, perhaps some large and predatory.

Reports of large rat like flying animals might be pterodactyls. This speculation seems unlikely, but is sufficiently viable to consider. The Coelacanth was described as a species which had become extinct 65 million years ago until they were discovered quite alive off the coast of Africa. Pterodactyls, like bats, would have membranoid wings. Their wings are supported by a single digit as opposed to bats which use four fingers to hold open there wing membranes. Shown are pterodactyls known from the fossil record. Despite the view of paleontologists, persistent reports of pterodactyl like animal continue in modern times. Note the mythical Wyvern looks decidedly like a pterodactyl. Perhaps a small breeding population yet exists hiding in the canopy of some remote tropical rain forest.

Because both bats and pterodactyls have leathery wings, a non- biologist might not recognize the difference and suppose that what was being observed were bats when in fact they might be something very different. Like bats, many pterodactyls seem to have been nocturnal. Note the skull of a pterodactyl which must have had very large eyes indeed to warrant the need of such large eye sockets and the supporting rings of bone. Skeletons rot with sufficient rapidity in the rain forests that they are rarely found for any species.

Other animals that are preserved in legend or on coats of arms may be renditions of real animals that exist or that existed until relatively recent times. The long tailed bird the Basilisk, has an appearance very similar to archeopterix. Possibly the Basilisk is or was a surviving descendant of early archeopterix like birds. Both the long tailed birds and pterodactyls may exist now or may have until quite recently. They may have been known as Basilisks and Wyverns.

Another interesting possibility is that one of the types of creatures called goat-suckers may in fact be a bird with a long pointed bill. In tropical Latin America there have been reports of a variety of Chupacabra with a very long pointed beak which it uses to peck holes in it's victim's skin from which it then drinks blood. In the Galapogos Islands there are birds which eat parasites of other animals. If their beak breaks the skin they will readily lap up the oozing blood. This illustrates a mechanism which might be selected by evolution, producing a blood drinking bird. The large Chupacabras may have evolved in this or a similar fashion.

Why the Chupacabras are just now making their presence known may be closely related to man's expansion into formerly isolated areas. As the endemic habitat is destroyed herbivore tend to die off, and predatory species tend to migrate in search of new food sources such as is occasionally the case with mountain lions, polar bears, wolves, and coyotes. Sometimes the new food source are domesticated animal or even man.

The Chupacabra phenomena is certainly a fascinating subject and, whether real or not, has lead to illuminating speculation. If the reports contain a grain of truth then there seems to be several cryptospecies ripe for discovery.

E-mail Me At: [email protected]