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The Minhocao- Giant Earthworm or Legless Amphibian?

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posted on May, 17 2009 @ 08:27 PM
Minhocao means "Giant Earthworm" in Portuguese, which describes the general form of a cryptic that seems to exist in the South American rainforests. Supposedly it can grow up to 75 feet in length.

Publications regarding the Minhocão ceased until 1877, when zoologist Fritz Müller wrote an article on the beast for a German publication Zoologische Garten. Müller's article included new information on the Minhocão, including reports of huge mysterious trenches that were so big they'd divert rivers and destroy orchards. Unlike Saint-Hilaire's article, Müller's included actual sightings of the Minhocão.

A possible parallel with the Brazilian beast was described in 1866 by Paulino Montenegro. He described a creature in the folklore of Nicaragua called sierpe. This animal was described as "like a large snake," and lived in ponds called chaquites.
Karl Shuker debunks the glyptodont theory in his discussion of the creature by pointing out that glyptodonts were not burrowing animals (in addition to their lack of adaptations for burrowing, such as massive claws, their well-developed defenses were evidence that they lived much of their life above ground and near predators) and that they were presumably not nearly as aquatic in nature as the Minhocão is supposed to be. ...

He goes on to debunk the lepidosiren theory and to endorse an identification of the creature as a species of caecilian. Caecilians are wormlike amphibians native to Mexico and South America, among other places. They physically resemble earthworms, and unlike most amphibians, live their lives nearly entirely below ground. Two sensory organs on the animals' head which, at times, resemble horns. Caecilia can also grow quite large (one Colombian species grows to nearly 5 feet).

Many of the original sources can be found on the following link:

We've seen reports of huge anacondas before, but what about a legless, burrowing, amphibious creature? I'm going to go ahead and endorse the caecilian theory, for the following reasons:

Caecilians are amphibians. The rainforest is the perfect place for them to stay moist. They are legless and they burrow. And they can grow up to around five feet. So, yes, five feet is much less than 75. But in the proper controlled environment, I do suppose they could grow to a very large length, much as we've seen reports of in specific types of pythons or anacondas. I do not believe that an earthworm would be able to grow to such a large length because they do not have much protection for their tissues. And I believe that a glyptodont would have problems burrowing in the rainforest, as opposed to somewhere like a desert. Glyptodonts also do not have the right body form. What do you think?



Lepidosiren: (The lungfish, not the guy)


posted on May, 17 2009 @ 08:35 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on May, 17 2009 @ 09:09 PM
Are there any other pictures of this cryptid? It looks nothing like a caecilian, earthworm or lungfish.

I'd be surprised if it were a known species of caecilian. I have some that are part of a breeding project. Mine are well fed and in an enclosure set up to an optimum environment. They have not grown beyond their normal size.

However, I would entertain the idea of an unknown species of caecilian. Or maybe an unknown altogether.

posted on May, 17 2009 @ 09:13 PM
I did a search about early caecilians. I wanted to see if they were larger. However, that does not appear to be the case. That does not mean it did not happen. We don't have many fossils to go by.

"Already by Jurassic times, caecilians were beginning to lose their limbs," he says. The Jurassic animals were about 4 centimeters long, he estimates, whereas modern caecilians can reach lengths of more than 1 meter.

posted on May, 17 2009 @ 09:16 PM
reply to post by tamusan

That's the thing, there are no pictures of it. Because obviously if there were, someone would have been around it enough to identify more features.

I put the pictures in of the possibilities for what it is. None of them are actually it.

I don't think it's an earthworm for the reasons already mentioned. I don't think a lungfish would grow to be 75 feet in length. But I think a caecilian maybe could. I don't think it's so much the environment, but the population itself.

Say there's a small population of caecilians in the rainforest. They do not interact with any other caecilian population and for some reason evolve independently. Perhaps because of the optimum food source, the temperature, and the isolated evolution... it just caused a huge amount of growth. Think galapagos tortoises, only in caecilians?

It seems the most logical choice, I think. But it's open for debate.

I'm thinking more evolution instead of less. Just because I can't think of anything prehistoric that fits the description. So I'm going for something new.

[edit on 5/17/2009 by ravenshadow13]

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:49 AM
Big fan of this cryptid, I also reckon a caecilian makes most sense and a glyptodon sounds ridiculous - isn't that a giant armadillo?!

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