First, I will recap the entire situation. In North America, bipedal creatures resembling theropod dinosaurs have been sighted for decades. My theory is that these animals are actually really big iguanid lizards that are facultatively bipedal. They can be up to 5 feet tall and 10 feet long, possibly weighing about 150 pounds or so. They have large, prominent eyes, which are red in the males. They also have sharp claws and teeth. Their hind legs are significantly longer than their front limbs. Therefore, when they are standing on all fours, they appear to be much higher in the rear than in the front.
They have a row of spines going down their backs, which, once again, might be more prominent in the males. Their color is usually green on the back and somewhat greyish on the belly and underneath the tail. They are covered with brown stripes, or splotches, like a tiger or a jaguar.
These creatures are omnivores. In addition to plants, they mostly eat insects, eggs, and possibly fish. They occasionally take larger prey as well, such as birds, rodents, smaller lizards, and possibly even juvenile deer and pronghorn.
They are certainly large and powerful enough to kill a human, and indeed, there are stories of them doing so. I would guess that they are not normally aggressive to humans, and would usually run away from them. However, if they felt threatened, they could probably attack and kill a person in self-defense. Being opportunistic feeders, they would then probably feed on the person's body after killing them.
Therefore, even though they are not usually "man-eaters", some individuals could have possibly killed humans in self-defense, and then feasted on their bodies. This is possibly what gave rise to the legends in Mexican culture of them being "monsters" or "demons" that regularly feasted on human corpses.
It is very hard to classify these creatures. Although they are obviously iguanid lizards, we are not sure what genus they belong to. However, I tend to think that they are closely-related to the genus Iguana, if not members of that genus. As I stated before on this blog, this is due to the fact that they share many features with members of this genus, including the large size and the presence of a circular boss near the base of the jaw.
I will now do an analysis of some of the more notable sightings of these animals. I will start with one of the more interesting reports. I read this report on the Internet, and it can be found here: http://www.paranormal.about.com/od/livingdinosaurs/a/tales_09_04_15t.htm
According to the report, an 18-year-old and his grandfather were hunting deer in Georgia on July 25, 2008. They were walking on a rocky road, when, all of a sudden, a very strange animal walked out of the bushes and onto the road maybe 150 yards in front of them. It had a long, stiff tail, walked on two legs, and had very large and sharp claws on its hands and feet. It appeared to be about 5 feet tall at the shoulders. The animal just stood there for a while, before eventually running back into the bushes.
I feel that this sighting probably represents a genuine encounter with one of these unknown iguanid lizards. I also found it especially interesting because the witnesses described the height as being about 5 feet tall. This matches the height seen in other reports.
Another encounter happened in South Carolina. Army Colonel Robert Cooper was driving next to the Scape Ore Swamp when he saw a creature which he described as being "half-man, half-dinosaur" running on its hind legs across the road. He thought that it was the famous Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp, which had recently been reported in that same area. However, judging by the sketch that he later drew of the creature, and the description that he gave, I doubt that this animal is the same creature as the Lizard Man. Instead, it sounds an awful lot like a bipedal lizard, just like the ones reported further west.
In conclusion, these giant bipedal lizards really are very fascinating cryptids, and I will be writing a whole lot more about them in the future.
In my next post, I will start discussing the phenomenon of lake cryptids, such as the ones seen at infamous places like Loch Ness and Lake Champlain, as well as some lesser-known ones. I will look through all of the evidence, to find out which animal would be the most-likely candidate.