Instagram post by @tylerstoneart Art of Tyler Stone

Daily Cryptid #27: Emela-ntouka

Another supposed African dinosaur, Emela-ntouka (meaning “killer of elephants”) is said to be smaller than the more famous Mokele-mbembe, with its most obvious feature being a single long horn on its snout. It is much less commonly seen, and gets its name from its supposed violent disposition toward elephants and hippos, which it kills on sight. Investigators (again, mostly creationists) say it may be a surviving ceratopsian (horned dinosaur) or species of semi-aquatic rhino. However, the creature doesn’t resemble ceratopsians beyond the nasal horn and long tail - these animals had large frills, spectacular arrangements of horns, pebbly scales and scutes, and weren’t proportioned very similarly to the creature described. They are also unknown from the Southern Hemisphere. An unknown rhino is unlikely, though potential wayward known rhinos could describe some reports.

The truth is that the line separating the Emela-ntouka from other supposed living dinosaurs is indistinct; some reports describe it as being the same size as Mokele-mbembe, and the latter is sometimes said to have a nasal horn. It seems that these are different names for amorphous legendary water monsters, not real animals. Additionally, the idea that Africa is home to dinosaurs is based on pop culture and old, racist world views. These stories originated in the 1920s and 30s, when highly-publicized fossil discoveries were generating a popular craze for dinosaurs. Meanwhile, films like The Lost World and King Kong planted the idea of lost worlds with prehistoric survivors in the public imagination (this is the same time that stories of the Loch Ness Monster became popular, but that’s a story for another time). What popular culture suggested, racism made real; Africa was still largely controlled by European powers, and the colonial mindset was that Africa was a dark, primitive continent, with strange animals and “savage” people. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s Africa that became the epicenter for stories of prehistoric survivors. #cryptid #emelantouka #livingdinosaur #lostworld #ornot #colonialism #racismbad #digitalart #ipadart #procreate

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