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January 23, 2015

There’s a mid-sized mammal living in the backwoods of BC. It’s a strange creature—I’m not entirely sure how it evolved or how it manages to procreate, but it does exist. My dad told me about it when I was small, and he knows everything so it must be true.

See, this animal, the sidewinder or the sidehill gouger, has two long legs on one side of its body and two short legs on the other. This makes it very, very good at circling mountains in search of food and to escape predators. Unfortunately, if it falls off a mountain or finds itself on a flat surface, it’s pretty much helpless. Oddly, this doesn’t mean that anyone’s been able to capture the thing, or even get a decent photo.

This is the best picture we have and it’s obviously an artist’s representation:



It’s even hard to find gouger tracks, but I’m guessing that’s because humanity has pushed it further and further into the wilderness. Hopefully someone manages to find a breeding population soon, because I’m sure they’re endangered.

It turns out with a bit of digging that there are similar creatures in France and Scotland, but where the sidewinder is of an unknown genus, the French one is definitely a caprid and the Scottish one is a rodent. So we’re dealing with a very cool form of convergent evolution, not a common ancestor. Kind of sad, but also fascinating, that there would be such an evolutionary pressure on two separate continents.

Why yes, I am a fan of cryptids. 🙂

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