Supposed Giant Hominid of Australia.
Etymology: After spinifex, a drought-resistant Australian desert grass.
Physical description: Height, 10 feet. Behavior: Bipedal.
Tracks: Two toes. Length, 10—15 inches. Distribution: Central Western Australia, near Laverton.
Significant sighting: In 1970, Peter Muir came across odd, two-toed tracks in the outback near Laverton, Western Australia.
Possible explanation: Ostrich (Struthio camelus) farms were begun in South Australia in the early twentieth century, but the industry only became commercially viable in the 1990s. in leaner times, the birds were often let loose to fend for themselves. Their distinctively large, two-toed feet (as opposed to those of the smaller, three-toed emu) match the tracks found by Muir.
Sources: West Australian (Perth), September 5, 1970; "The Abominable Spinifex Man," Pursuit, no. 13 (January 1971): 9-10.
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