Dr KARL SHUKER

Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my ShukerNature blog's articles (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my published books (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my Eclectarium blog's articles (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my Starsteeds blog's poetry and other lyrical writings (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

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WELCOME TO SHUKERNATURE - ENJOY YOUR VISIT - BEWARE OF THE RAPTOR!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

THE MENAGERIE OF MARVELS IS HERE!! – MY TRILOGY OF BOOKS ON EXTRAORDINARY ANIMALS IS NOW COMPLETE


My newly-published, 21st book – The Menagerie of Marvels (© Dr Karl Shuker/CFZ Press)

Until recently, I hadn't fully realised that the vast majority of my 21 published books consist of pairs or trilogies – in most cases, I hadn't planned this, it just seems to have happened.

Thus I have written two books on controversial felids (Mystery Cats of the World and Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery); two on dragons (Dragons: A Natural History and Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture); two specific compilations of articles of mine that originally appeared in the magazines Fate and Fortean Times respectively (From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings and Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo); two non-specific compilations of articles of mine, now updated and expanded but which originally appeared in a range of different magazines (The Beasts That Hide From Man and Mirabilis); two books on general mysteries that were published by Carlton, with the second being a direct sequel to the first (The Unexplained and Mysteries of Planet Earth); and a trilogy on the subject of new and rediscovered animals (The Lost Ark, followed by The New Zoo, and then The Encyclopaedia of New and RediscoveredAnimals).

In addition, there are advanced plans afoot to publish a new, retitled edition of In Search of Prehistoric Survivors; and also an expanded edition of my poetry volume Star Steeds and Other Dreams (as well as a downloadable spoken version of the original edition).

My trilogy of books on the subject of new and rediscovered animals (© Dr Karl Shuker)

Meanwhile, my second trilogy of books is now complete, with the publication of The Menagerie of Marvels, whose subtitle, A Third Compendium of Extraordinary Animals, reveals that it is volume #3 in my series dealing with extraordinary animals from both cryptozoology and mainstream zoology. Its two predecessors were Extraordinary Animals Worldwide and Extraordinary Animals Revisited. But what can you expect to find inside it? Well…

Welcome one and all to my Menagerie of Marvels! Where else would you encounter venomous bis-cobra lizards from India and a never-before-documented flying dragon-lizard from Zimbabwe, minuscule fairy armadillos and clamorous go-away birds, genuine roc feathers and a veritable werewolf paw, whale-headed pseudo-pterodactyls and hammer-headed lightning birds, a park of monsters in Italy and mystery beasts in the Vatican, beech martens in Britain and winged toads in France, an invisible catfish and a dicephalous kestrel, the cryptic comadreja and a controversial Caribbean racoon, reverse mermaids and the music of Ogopogo, Africa's missing marmot and Vespucci's vanished mega-rat, earth hounds, vampire shrews, moonrats, nandinias and Nandi bears, undiscovered ajolotes, bemusing bristle-heads, monumental mammoths, gorilla-sized man-eating baboons and giant rhinoceros-eating terror birds, some fishy lake monsters and duplicitous sea serpents, Rift Valley mystery reptiles, vermiform rock-slicing laser gazers, and so much more too, all within the scenic yet comfortingly-secure confines of a single book?

The Menagerie of Marvels can be purchased on Amazon (click here for direct links to it on the UK and on the USA sites), and there is also a special offer on it if purchased directly from its publisher, CFZ Press (click here). It can also be ordered through all good online and physical bookstores.

So, I hope and trust that you will enjoy your visit to my menagerie, and please do return whenever you wish – its unique collection of extraordinary zoological esoterica and inexplicabilia will always be here to mystify and mesmerise you anew. You have only to step inside...if you dare!

My trilogy of books on extraordinary animals from zoology and cryptozoology (© Dr Karl Shuker)






11 comments:

  1. Hi Karl,
    Is Menagerie a new version of Revisited?

    While I have your ear, do you think that giant ground sloths could actually have lived in larger trees than exist now? I think it unlikely they could have survived on the ground. Even elephants nowadays are taken down by prides of lions. How could sloths be fast enough? They even have to sneak down trees to bury their feces to avoid detection. I suspect the trees were bigger then.

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    1. No, apart from one expanded chapter from Revisited and one from the original Extraordinary Animals back in 1991, Menagerie is an entirely new book. Bearing in mind their huge size in the case of Megatherium, no tree could support it, but its massive foreclaws would make effective weapons if swung at putative attackers.

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  2. Sloths are so extremely slow, the size of their claws would be of no use.

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    1. Tree sloths are very different creatures from ground sloths, which were both quadrupedal and bipedal - a giant ground sloth squatting upright on its haunches and swinging its forearms, equipped with scythe-like claws, at predators would likely prove a daunting entity for anything to dare attack.

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    2. What I am questioning is whether or not they were ground dwelling. The giant size does not make them ground dwelling if the trees were bigger at that time. In my opinion, the trees probably were big enough for them to live in then. If the predators were also bigger, then they could not survive on the ground.

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    3. Megatherium was the size of an elephant! It weighed up to 4 tons, and measured up to 20 ft long. I know of no evidence that there have ever been trees big enough to support a creature of that magnitude in them as an arboreal creature.

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  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megatherium - far too big to live in even the biggest trees. As I say, tree sloths and ground sloths are very different from one another morphologically and behaviourally, even though they are related taxonomically.

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    1. And from Wikipedia's entry on Ground sloths: "Although ground sloths were relatively easy to spot, this did not make hunting them easy. Big game hunters’ weapons were useless if ground sloths were further than thirty feet away. Additionally, the ground sloths’ already thick hide consisted of osteoderms, which made it exceptionally thick. It was difficult to take down a ground sloth with atlatls; killing a ground sloth required extensive knowledge of the species. Ground sloths' size and claws strong enough to tear apart tree branches made it incredibly dangerous for hunters to approach these animals." So IMHO it was probably as much if not more to do with climate change as with being hunted, whether by humans or by other predators, that brought about the giant ground sloths' demise.

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    2. I do not think that anything about their known morphology demonstrates that they actually lived on the ground or that they could move faster than modern sloths.

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    3. Their entire anatomy is one based upon a terrestrial existence and is fundamentally different from that of tree sloths, which are highly specialised forms. I'm not sure where your idea that ground sloths could be arboreal has come from, but with the greatest respect it might be worth while researching comparative morphologies of tree and ground sloths. See, for example http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2012/08/30/the-anatomy-of-sloths/

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    4. My final comments on this subject are: conclusive anatomical evidence for the ground sloths' evident terrestrial existence can be found in the link cited by me in my previous reply; if giant trees capable of supporting giant ground sloths in an arboreal existence (and such trees would need to be absolutely stupendous in size) had ever existed in the ground sloths' terrain, where are their fossils? (fossils of giant trees have been found elsewhere from the Pleistocene, e.g. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013QSRv...65....1P - so why not there?); and it is a cyclical argument, a logical fallacy, to say (as you seem to be doing) that if giant ground sloths lived in trees the trees must have been huge and the evidence for huge trees existing is the existence of giant ground sloths. As I think that we must agree to disagree on this subject, further comments regarding it are closed.

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