Friday, December 23, 2011

The Jorōgumo: The Seductress of the Webs

The Jorōgumo (an 'all female' species of yōkai from Japan) is a large, shape-shifting orb-weaving spider that takes the form of a beautiful woman that uses seduction to hunt for human prey. Being mainly valley dwellers, the Jorōgumo live in gigantic, yellow tinted webs in either abandon houses or in large trees within their territory boundaries but, in recent reports they've travel into towns or cities to widen their hunting range for their taste for man flesh. Being venomous, rarely they use their venom to kill prey but, they do use it to fight off other predators such as the Japanese dragon or the more aggressive, alp-living Tsuchigumo (another large spider yōkai).

In human form, the Jorōgumo takes the form of a beautiful woman or girl (depending on age) and their clothing represents their personality. If they're older and more wiser they shape-shift into a woman wearing a kimono while if they're younger and reckless, they go with the new world Japanese fashions (for example, the Lolita fashion). The Jorōgumo are extremely talented in playing music with string (made from their own webs) instruments. In their natural form on the other hand, the Jorōgumo's beauty disappears and their horrifying appearance can give an unexpected Oni a heart attack. Similar looking to orb-weaving spiders, their coloration are limited to the colors of yellow and black.
The Jorōgumo are normally considered to be prostitutes due their hunting personalities that results in spider eggsacks but, in some reports human males sometimes marry this deadly species for a lifetime mate (which always ends with the Jorōgumo being heart broken after the husband dies at old age).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Howler Monkey Snake: A Weird Species from Northwestern Brazil

The Howler Monkey Snake of Northwestern Brazil (near the boarder of Colombia) is described as having a head similar looking toward a howler monkey's with horrifying teeth that have sleek, elongated bodies (growing up to 18 feet long in length) with markings similar toward a boa constrictor. They're known to have also four webbed claws which allows it to steer while swimming at speeds up to 5 mph. Being mainly shy, the Howler Monkey Snake creates a den underneath the water level nearby mainly lakes to avoid humans and predators. While looking for one of these elongated species of primate, one must listen for a noisy din that sounds like a group of howler monkeys coming from a nearby a water source because the sounds that this creature makes can be heard from their dens from underneath the water. They're mostly active during rainy nights. The Howler Monkey Snakes are also known to wallow in mud to help keep their waterproof fur free from parasites, can be found in trees by slowly circling the tree trunk like a spiral staircase, and are most likely to be found during the day hiding in swamp vegetation. Howler Monkey Snakes uses both venom from their saliva and constriction to kill their prey and then, like a python or anaconda, they swallow their prey whole (including an unlucky human being if possible).
The Howler Monkey Snakes is a hard creature to group with known animals because of it's strange features. For example, the head and fur must indicate that this species must be a type of primate or mammal but, at the same time it could be a weird snake/reptile thanks to the venom (either like a venomous snake or a komodo dragon) and hunting strategies it uses to hunt prey.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach: Nuisance or Importance?

Manhattan Beach, California is home to a very unique species of cockroach that's only found in that one area. The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach only lives along the coastal area, either on the beach or in nearby houses. The insect only eats hazardous materials such as lead paint, the manganese dioxide found in zinc-carbon batteries, acids, ethanol (alcohol), and several items with the element cadmium within. Though they could be found in almost every area in the world, the beach that the cockroach lives on is it's natural habitat and can give these items to them everyday by humans. For example, a person throws away a zinc-carbon battery in the trash or someone accidentally spills alcohol into the sand can be easily consumed without wasting energy for hunting. In other words, the Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach is extremely lazy and are scavengers. The coloration of this cockroach is also unique in which its easily recognized by its strange, colorful spots all over its body.

Being scavengers, they also consume dead animals which wash up on shore like normal cockroaches eating decaying carcasses. If a predator (like for example a seagull) eats one of these insects, it will slowly die due to the hazardous materials found in its body. Being extremely endangered, humans who try to exterminate these insects will have to pay heavy fines due to their rarity. The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach isn't immune to what normal pests die from (example: insect repellent). Once dead, the insect will repel a toxic gas from its decaying body which dangers human and animal health.

The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach (featured in the illustration above) looks like a normal cockroach but, have colorful spots all over its body. Its illegal to keep one as a pet and if caught with one, the person would have to pay small fines and have to prove that the insect wasn't hurt in captivity.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Lobizon: The 'Seventh Son' Beast

The Lobizon is a breed of werewolves which are only found in Argentina. During their transformation on full moon nights, the Lobizon comes in the form of a ferocious, large-eared dog with childlike legs. Being mostly a quadruped (in which it can run up to 45 mph), the Lobizon can become bipedal for short distances (can run up between 15-25 mph) while hunting prey while running on all-fours for escaping larger predators. Being predators themselves, the Lobizon hunts mainly livestock such as chickens and, if possible, a full grown cow. Mainly solitary hunters, the Lobizon rarely allows others of the same species eat their kills and will actually fight amongst each other for scraps. Unlike normal werewolves (and any 'Were-Beasts'), the venom of a Lobizon is extremely weak and can only effect small human children or sickly people. The venom of any 'Were-Beast' is a way (without mating) one can pass their genes/curse to mutate another living being.

Becoming one can happen in two ways: a young child is bitten by Lobizon or a seventh, male child will be given the curse of becoming one. Though mainly venom is a main key in turning a sweet child into a blood thirsting creature, rarely a family with a seventh male child does occur. The only way to make sure the child doesn't become one, the Argentina government asked families who have a seventh male child to become baptized to avoid the curse of becoming a Lobizon.

The Lobizon (or sometimes 'El Lobizon') are mainly found throughout Argentina and had became an epidemic for human safety. The Lobizon are mainly found in the northern region of the country and don't only terrorize rural farm lands but, populated places as well.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Augurey: The Irish Phoenix

The Augurey is a thin and mournful-looking bird (similar in appearance of a small & underfed vulture) with greenish black feathers. The Augurey are native to mainly Britain and Ireland, but are sometimes found in some forests in northern Europe. Its intensely shy and rarely interact with humans. They nest in bramble (examples include the blackberry and raspberry) bushes surrounded by thorns or in high tree branches. The nest of the Augurey are built to look like a teardrop which helps them find their nests more easily. Their favorite food are mainly large insects, fairies, and sometimes smaller mammals like mice. The Augurey is mainly seen during heavy rain (in which the bird mainly flies to search for food from rather places). If rain doesn't come, the Augurey are known to hop around their nesting site looking for prey on the ground or in branches of trees. The only way to find an Augurey in remote forests are to listen for a distinctive low and throbbing cry.

Magizoologist, who study mainly magical creatures, have discovered that the feathers of an Augurey repels ink and are feared in the magical world by wizards, witches, etc... The reason why they fear this shy creature is because they believe when someone hears it's cry, death will soon follow. Though the cry of an Augurey does frighten people (and gave people heart attacks by passing their nesting sites), the fact is that the Augurey is incredibly harmless. Next to being feared by most of the 'Magical World' and have ink repelling feathers, the species are used as a biological weather forecaster.

The illustration above is a typically Augurey, the 'Irish Phoenix'. Named for mainly being found in Ireland and are related mainly to the Phoenix.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The River Griffin: The Eel River's Flying Beauty

The Eel River of Northern California has different species of aquatic life such as the Coho Salmon, the Rainbow Trout, and the Pacific Lamprey which falls prey to the only Western species of Griffin: the River Griffin. The River Griffin is the river's only top predator along the banks of the Eel River and will sometimes eat smaller animals such as muskrats and minks if they can't find any fish. Unlike the Mongolian and African Griffin, they aren't afraid of humans and will sometimes steal fish from fishermen. In description, the River Griffin ranges in colors similar to an Osprey and have a fishing-styled beak such as the heron rather than a birds of prey like other species of griffins. They don't have any talons which is very unusual but, can slash thanks to their feline-like claws. The most heavily populated area of where to find the most River Griffins can be found in Mendocino County, California. The way River Griffins hunt fish is by flying along the river, searching for prey with their powerful eyes, and once they find a suitable prey. They swoop down from the air and catch their prey with their beak. The River Griffin, surprisingly, dislike getting their feathers wet which enables them to fly. Their favorite treats are red wine and dark chocolate. River Griffins can be trained and can be raised in captivity.
The illustration above is a map of the Eel River which leads from the Pacific Ocean in which lampreys have originated from and are the River Griffin's favorite snack.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Funeral Mountain Terrashot: Migrating into Oblivion

The Funeral Mountain Terrashot are only found in the Funeral Mountain range along the California-Nevada border. They're described as having casket-like body with a shell running down the whole length (six to eight feet long in length). Though mostly related to tortoises, they are known to have features similar to mammals such as small ears and a hippopotamus-like tail. The Funeral Mountain Terrashot have four long legs which causes the animal to be wobbly in which it sways side-to-side or forwards-to-backwards as it walks. The feet are designed to travel amongst any terrain and their skin/shell prevents any injury while swaying near steep areas. Their habitat are in the little meadows and parks in the higher portions of the mountain range, where they reproduce extensively.

Next to their docile nature, the Funeral Mountain Terrashot only hurt other species and humans by accidentally squashing them in heavily populated meadows. Strangely, the Terrashot only feeds on small insects rather than being vegetarian in which Monstrologists have suspected. Though in some cases when insects are not available, they eat plants such as flowers or grasses. Once their meadows becomes too heavily populated, they have a strange, impulsive behavior to mate quickly then all the mature adults travel down the mountain in single file line to commit suicide in the Nevada desert by exploding, leaving large grave-shape holes in the sand. Some experts say they do this to bring down their population growth once their habitats over populates and something in their body (a type of chemical which is unknown by scientists/monstrologists) makes them explode after contact with sand. Whatever the reason, after the eggs hatch and their generation becomes too populated, the process happens over and over again.

The Funeral Mountain Terrashot, featured in this illustration above to show what they do during their strange migrating instinct, were discovered in the 19th century by lumberjacks and travellers.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Mountain Walrus: Nature's Only Terrestrial Walrus

The Mountain Walrus is the only terrestrial species that belongs to the Odobenidae family that is separate from the Odobenus rosmarus (the common walrus which has three subspecies). Being unable to swim, their "flippers" are mainly used for grabbing prey sources and they only travel by sinuous whole body movements similar to how ocean walrus move along the beaches. The Mountain Walrus' "flippers" have thicker bones in their front "flippers" that allow them to grab more efficiently and both sets (front and back) allows them to waddle for short distances. Both males and females have tusks but, the males have a second smaller set behind their main tusks. Males mainly use them for protecting their territory, warding off predators and "peacocking" (means for attraction a mate). Being carnivorous, the Mountain Walrus eats smaller animals such as squirrels and raccoons even though they're bulkier/larger. The weirdest part about the Mountain Walrus is that they're actually more agile and faster than what they appear. They're favorite past time is either sun bathing on warm rocks or cooling off in the shady forests nearby their underground dens. Their natural environment is just below the tree lines of mountain scopes, although they will descend further into the forests if food becomes scarce enough. They extremely hate water and while it rains, all Mountain walruses stay in their water-protective dens to wait out the storm.

During mating season, the solitary Mountain Walrus travels in small groups in which they socialize in finding a mate. Once the infants are born the males leave the herd to allow the cows to raise their young in nearby caves or dens which are form as shelters for housing their defenseless young from predators while hunting. After reaching to a mature age, the females leave their young to defend on their own. The Mountain Walrus are known to be located in the states of California and Washington of the West Coast. They're also known to travel to Nevada into the deserts for unknown reasons and can be found in Yosemite National Park.
Being an endangered species due to logging and over-hunting. Monstrologists have counted down to 500 individuals since the 1950's but, the species' population have increased over the course of a couple of years thanks for the government to protect these extraordinary species.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Asanbosam: The 'Hook Legged' Vampire of Western Africa

The Asanbosam is a strange looking, African vampire which have hook-like appendages on both their legs and have iron-like teeth (for mainly their color and durability). These species of vampires are found among the Ashanti people of Southern Ghana, The Ivory Coast, and Togo. The Asanbosam dwells in the jungle where its seen occasionally by tribal hunters. Being a tree hunter, it mainly attacks from above. There are three ways its hunts: it lowers itself down from the canopy by using it's appendages to grab its victim, in the lower branches it uses it's hooks to swing from the branches to attack, or lowers it's hooks down from the trees to hook/constrict its prey item. The Asanbosam are known to live in families and are completely feral.

Being an African vampire, the creature is dark in color for camouflage amongst other humans, until they discover the strange hook-like appendages on their legs. From a distance, they appear to be human (except for the appendages on their legs) but once you get closer, you would notice the bat-like facial features such as the pointed ears and the nose. The Asanbosam is also built to have superhuman speed, agility, and strength. Their favorite prey sources are canopy birds, small tree-living/or ground living mammals, and humans.

The picture above is an illustration of an Asanbosam.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Introduction to Monstrology

Monstrology (or De Monstris in Latin) is the study of creatures unknown to zoology or botany which include dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and many more which are considered legendary creatures. There are many branches in this study which includes: Cryptozoology (the study of "Hidden Animals" such as the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch), Magizoology (the study of magical creatures such as dragons, gnomes, and unicorns), UFOlogy (study of UFOes and aliens), Demonlogy (the study of Hell and demons), Angelology (study of Heaven and angels), and more. Within each branch, there are sub-branches (in Magizoology, there are people who mainly study dragons and people who study goblins). In this blog, I'll be skipping around these branches to give information on different and unusual species that are part of this field of study.