Mystery otterlike mammal or reptile of Australasia, similar to the WA.i TOKEKE.
Etymology: Maori (Austronesian), uncertain; may mean "very spiny," may be related to "swimming" or "ancestors," or may just be a generic "monster."
Variant name: Frequently misspelled as Kau-reke.
Physical description: Otterlike. Whitish fur. Behavior: Nocturnal. Seemingly less aquatic kaurehe 267
than the Waitoreke. Observed when it visits its watering places. Eats lizards. Lays eggs as large as a duck's.
Distribution: Arowhenua Bush, South Island, New Zealand.
Possible explanations: An unknown, egg-laying mammal (monotreme) or a spiny lizard of some kind.
Sources: Gideon A. Mantell, Petrifactions and Their Teachings (London: H. G. Bohn, 1851), p. 105; Richard Taylor, Te Ika a Maui, 2d ed. (London: W. Macintosh, 1870), p. 604; Roger Duff, The Moa-Hunter Period of Maori Culture (Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Internal Affairs, 1950), p. 289; J. S. Watson, "The New Zealand 'Otter,'" Records of the Canterbury Museum 7, no. 3 (1960): 175—183; James Herries Beattie, TraditionalLifeways of the Southern Maori: The Otago University Museum Ethnological Project, 1920 (Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago Press, 1994), p. 354; H. W. Orsman, ed., The Dictionary of New Zealand English (Auckland, New Zealand: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 398. See also WAiTOREKE.
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