posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 01:12 PM
For many years, zoologist Dr David Oren from the Goeldi Museum of Brazil has been following up local reports from the dense Mato Grosso region of
Amazonia in his longstanding search for an odd creature called the mapinguary.
Dr Oren has proposed that the mapinguary is a giant ground sloth, possibly related to the fossil genus Neomylodon. On the whole, he has recorded about
50 first-hand accounts, as well as material evidence for the existence of the mapinguary, such as footprints and feces.
According to local tales and legends, the creature is "Fifteen feet tall and with hair so thick it makes it invulnerable to bullets, swords,
knifes, arrows and spears, the creature loves tobacco and twists off the upper skulls of its human victims so as to suck up their gray matter. But its
most freaky feature is its 'extra mouth' in the middle of its belly! When it feels threatened, it lets out a truly vile stench — something like
commingled garlic, excrement, and rotting meat — from this second mouth, which, the Indians say, is strong enough to suffocate any attacker."
Dr Oren believes this discription is very close to that of the extinct gound-sloth called a mylodontid, known only to science from fossils, preserved
fecal droppings, and from mummified individuals several millennia old. The mummies are still covered in reddish-brown fur.
From these specimins, scientists know that they had bony nodules in their skin that would have served as an effective body armor (possibly explaining
the legendary invulnerability). The claim of the extra mouth in it's belly could well be some gas-secreting gland, used for defense.
Some, local encounter stories:
Acre and Matto Grosso Provinces, Brazil - Mapinguary Reports
Mapinguary chases two joggers in Argentina
Large hairy hominid kills colt in Salta, Argentina