Freshwater Monster of Southeast Asia.
Etymology: Semelai (Austroasiatic), "buffalo snake."
Physical description: Serpentine. Grayish when young, golden when mature. width, 6 feet at its middle. Big, snakelike head. Small, soft horns. Long neck. Two humps.
Behavior: Aquatic. Rises up out of the water to the height of a palm tree. Makes a loud, trumpeting snort.
Distribution: Tasek Bera, Pahang State, Malaysia. Unfortunately, the lake is now choked with weeds and largely destroyed by plantations.
pP'ossible explanation: A surviving long-necked, aquatic reptile like an elasmosaurus, suggested by Karl Shuker. Its total length of 33 feet included a huge neck with seventy cervical vertebrae. It lived in the Late Cretaceous of North America, 90-65 million years ago.
Sources: Stewart Wavell, The Lost World of the East (London: Souvenir, 1958); Tim Dinsdale, The Leviathans (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), pp. 101-104; Karl Shuker, In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (London: Blandford, 1995), pp. 33-35; Karl Shuker, "R.I.P. Tasek Bera," Fortean Times, no. 158 (June 2002): 21.
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