Friday, August 26, 2016

The Roots of Speculative Evolution: An Addendum

I mentioned in my last article that speculative evolution dates back to 1915, when William Beebe came up with the idea of the Tetrapteryx. However, it turns out that even this was not the first creature of speculative evolution to find its way to fruition. Soon after publishing my previous article, I remembered that Antoon Cornelis Oudemans, in his 1892 book The Great Sea Serpent, devised a speculative unknown species of gigantic long-necked, long-tailed pinniped, which he christened Megophias megophias. I cannot believe I had forgotten it about it at the time. Megophias represents an example of a speculative cryptozoological creature, in the vein of such modern books as The Cryptozoologicon (2013). So not just speculative zoology, but speculative cryptozoology, at that, dates back to at least 1892.

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