Isiququmadevu

Dinosaur-like animal of Central Africa, similar to the MOKELE-MBEMBE

Etymology: Lozi (Bantu) word. Variant names: Ing'ondotuya, Lengol engol e, Lingongol e.

Physical description: Length, 20-40 feet. Larger than an elephant. Head is like a snake's. Long neck. Lizardl ike l egs. Behavior: Amphibious. Tracks: Makes wide furrows in the reeds and mud.

Habitat: Swamps, rivers. Distribution: Zambezi River from the Barotse Floodplain to Victoria Falls, Zambia.

Significant sightings: Lewanika, king of Barot-seland in western Zambia in the early twentieth century, went to the spot where a huge, aquatic reptile had been seen. He found a large space where reeds had been flattened and a channel as large as a trek wagon where it had crawled through the mud.

In the southern summer of 1925, a rivertransport manager named V. Pare saw a 30- to 40-foot, snakelike animal with a slate-gray head resting on a rock in the fl ooded Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, Zambia. It disappeared into a deep cave.

E. C. Saunders watched two animals with long necks in the Zambezi River near Katomb-ora, Zambia, in January 1960. He estimated they were 20—25 feet l ong and did not l ook l ike pythons.

Possible explanations:

(1) An outsize African cl awl ess otter (Aonyx capensis) may be the source of Pare's 1925 sighting, according to Bernard Heuvelmans. It grows to 5 feet in l ength, incl uding its tail.

(2) Two African rock pythons (Python sebae) in coitus probably explain the Saunders sighting.

(3) A surviving sauropod dinosaur. Sources: David Livingstone, Missionary

Travels and Researches in South Africa (London: John Murray, 1857), p. 517; John G. Millais, Far Away up the Nile (London: Longmans, Green, 1924), pp. 61-67; Vernon Brelsford, "Some Northern Rhodesian Monsters," African Observer 4, no. 6 (1936): 58-60; William Hichens, "African Mystery Beasts," Discovery 18 (1937): 369-373; "Le monstre des chutes Victoria," Atlas, June 1963, p. 108; Bernard Heuvel mans, Les derniers dragons d'Afrique (Paris: Plon, 1978), pp. 221-229, 387-388.

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