Mokele Mbembe Sauropod of the Congo

A few weeks ago I was surprised to come across reports on the Burrunjor in Australia, an apparent member of the theropod family which is the same as Tyrannosaurus Rex. This opened my eyes to the prospective ecological niche. It is a swamp based carnivore that dines on crocodiles primarily.

This begged the question regarding the thousands of reports of the existence of members of the plesiosaur and sauropod families. This article describes our knowledge of the members of the family who apparently live still in the Congo.

I first heard of the Makele – Mbembe forty years ago and it was based on a couple of reports at best. Since then the number of reports have filled out and became much more convincing.

What I find most convincing is that all such dawn creatures observed so far are associated with much the same biological niche. This is primarily swamp lands that are also homes to that other survivor, the crocodile. It seems that if the croc could survive the great extinctions, then its cohabiters also had a chance.

The theropods clearly shared the same environment and are thus not such a surprise when observed in Australia. The plesiosaur like creature or its swamp cousin the sauropod is also a natural survivor. The sauropod is a plant eater and surely consumes the like of the water hyacinth which is ample for such a plant eater. The plants would also provide ample cover.

I also return to another issue. All these animals are nocturnal although the sauropod is observed feeding in the late afternoon while active at night. That is one reason that they are so rarely observed. And no I do not plan to spend nights in the middle of a mosquito and snake infested swamp sitting in a flimsy blind hoping to get lucky.

Most important in terms of normal observation is the fact that these creatures operate in swamps and rivers with dense vegetation. This is where humanity is least likely to be operating and certainly that is true in modern times.

Reading between the lines, I would suggest that these creatures are soon emerging into the media spotlight. Neither the Australian theropod nor the Congo sauropod represents a difficult capture scenario or photograph scenario. They are not cunning and wary like the more famous Bigfoot or Sasquatch which is surely as smart as any human hunter gatherer and has been clearly shy of allowing itself to linger in contact.

Rather it behaves just like us upon meeting a grizzly bear.

These lizards do not show such behavior but hang around in contact. I believe that either capturing or photographing the theropod is feasible using obvious strategies and that this attached article unless fabricated, practically gives us the street address of the sauropods.

The pleisosaur has been observed in the ocean but the question of their ecological niche is conjectural. We assume fish eating. We also do not understand how they breathe, or at least I do not. If they behaved as whales, they would have been available for inspection every day. That is not the case. Gills may be possible and they seem to be deep ocean swimmers perhaps working bottom fish. Otherwise, we know nothing.

Mokele-mbembe: a dinosaur of Africa?

by Phillip O'Donnell

It was 1986, Rory Nugent and his expedition party were out in the world's largest unexplored swamp on earth, the Likouala Swamp of Africa. While near Lake Tele he saw a long, thin neck come up out of the water, like that of a dinosaur. Rory imediately took two photographs and quickly got in his canoe, but his native guides stopped him at gunpoint and siad," He (the creature) would have killed us all..."

Over the last 100 years, evidence has accumulated that sauropod dinosaurs may still be roaming the vast, unexplored regions of the African swamp and jungle. Places like Nigeria, Congo, Angola, Gabon, and Cameroon have similar reports of huge, long-necked monsters, some with a length of 75 feet! Native sightings have been confirmed by reports from missionaries, explorers, and even army personnel. The natives in the Congo region call this creature “Mokele-mbembe” (the one who stops the flow of rivers). This creature is said to possess a long neck and tail, small head, large body, and four legs. They say the animal is very aggressive when disturbed and will bite and lash its tail at you when it is tipping over canoes, killing elephants or hippos. It is herbivorous (plant-eater) and enjoys eating very large amounts of the Malombo fruit that grows on vines at the edge of the rivers. Tracks from this creature range from 1 to 3 feet wide and are spaced 7 to 8 feet apart. It has no hair and it’s skin is very smooth. Dr. Bill Gibbons and Dr. Roy Mackal have done much research on Mokele-mbembe and without their work, little would be known about it.

At Lake Tele in 1983, Marcellin Agnaga was on an expedition when he said he saw Mokele-mbembe swimming in the lake. The creature was half-way out of the water and he could see it’s head, neck, and part of its body. His sketch resembles a sauropod dinosaur. He got his camera and began filming, but left the lens cap on and lost all proof of his encounter.

In a nearby part of Africa called Cameroon, there is another creature called Le’Kela-mbembe. It is said to grow around 70 feet in length and will eat the leaves from the Esem Tree. Dr. Bill Gibbons has done over twenty years of research on Mokele-mbembes and has discovered that Le’Kela-mbembes are actually mature Mokele-mbembes that migrate into Cameroon to mate (in September) and later return to the Congo to give birth to live young. Bill Gibbons discovered also that it will dig tunnels or caves on the shores of rivers. It mostly eats between 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. and is active at night. An expedition in 2003, confirmed that the Le’Kela-mbembe has a height of up to 18 feet by finding trees with all their branches eaten off up to a height of 18 feet. They also found tracks and a cave that had been sealed partly from the inside with mud. One biologist named Peter Beach could hear scratching sounds inside the cave. As the noises became louder it was evident that what ever was inside the cave was digging it’s way out towards them. One member of the expedition named Pierre feared for their lives and they quickly left, since an adult Mokele-mbembe can be very dangerous if disturbed at close range.

S. Arrey was housing some British soldiers in 1948 near Lake Barombi in Northern Cameroon. While he and some others were swimming in the lake, something broke through the surface of the water. In a very short time everyone was out of the water. They observed two giant reptiles coming out of the water. The larger one had a longer neck (about 15 feet long) and a spike or horn on it’s head that the smaller one did not have. Their skin was not smooth, but rather scaly.

Please note that the natives who see these creatures are not afraid to tell others what they have seen because they haven’t been taught about evolution, and do not know that dinosaurs were suppose to have been extinct millions of years ago. I feel the theory of evolution actually hinders the discovery of animals thought to be extinct. When the school text-books teach about the history of dinosaurs, why don’t they mention there is a strong possibility they might still be living? Because of this unproven theory, people are hesitant to tell anyone when they see dinosaurs like the Loch Ness Monster or Mokele-mbembe for fear of what people might think.

Here is some recently contributed information by David Woetzel (who has done expeditions in search of Mokele-mbembe):

1.) The older 20-45 ft long creatures live and mate in the Dja and maybe the Sangha rivers. These mature MM's (Mokele-mbembe) have very tough scales, like the back of a crocodile. Also like a croc, their underbelly is much softer. Their coloration is a dulled brownish gray.

2.) The younger creatures live in the Likouala swamp region. Their scales are softer and their colors are a more vivid reddish-brown. They're probably more skittish then their older counterparts.

3.) This sharp contrast in areas by age suggests a migration that only happens once in their lives (although the mother likely goes with its offspring to take them to the swamp).
4.) Their birth instincts are peculiar and vague. The native people say the MM gives birth to live young every 20 years. This is not a trait likely in reptiles, maybe the people their have it wrong because they are not able to find a nest site (some nests have been found) for how territorial these animals are they likely guard their nests very aggressively. They would likely kill anyone that gets close enough to see the eggs.

5.) No matter what, the mother's birth migration probably happens 1 of 2 ways. They either migrate to the swamp and lay eggs (or give birth) there, or they lay their eggs along the river and the mother and offspring go to the swamp together. I'm in favor of that idea because the nests are found along the rivers and the only time more than one MM is seen is when it is with its mother (according to the natives).

6.) The mother remains with her offspring for about a year (it may use this time to take the baby to the swamp and prepare it for life on its own)

7.) The adult male has a shorter neck but it also has a spiky back, and the female has a longer neck without the spikes.

8.) The young all have dermal ridges.

Someone from the internet recently told me about these sightings from people in Africa:

Witness: Doreen
Date: unknown
Place: Congo
Observed: A creature like a giant elephant, with a long tail and a long, snake-like neck. It appeared to be about 30 feet long.

Witness: Ama
Date: October, 2003
Place: Congo
Observed: A snake-like creature that had an elephant-like body. It’s neck was around ten feet long and had a tail about fifteen to twenty feet long. It appeared to be around forty feet in length.

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