|Country||Papua New Guinea|
|Habitat||Coastal areas, jungles and woods|
On Papua New Guinea and its neighboring islands number of obscure sightings have surfaced of a dinosaur-like creature. Referred to as a Kaiaimunu, it has been compared to a Therizinosaurus by researchers.
It is noted for having a long neck, leading to comparison to a sauropod, but other sightings specify that it stands on 2 legs and has front claws.
While it is unlikely the creature is actually a Therizinosaurus, it could be a descendant of the raptor family of dinosaurs, which also stood on 2 legs, had long neck (although not as long as a Therizinosaurus), and had front claws.
Also, sauropod-like creature have been seen on the islands in recent years.
Here is an excerpt of an article written on creation.com :
Theropod and Sauropod Dinosaurs Sighted in PNG?
By Brian Irwin
The author is an Australian who recently visited Papua New Guinea, meeting up with residents of West New Britain who told him of two dinosaur-like creatures they have seen in the area. Here is his account.
Therizinosaurus-like dinosaur sighting in West New Britain
Since the 1990s, a large ‘reptilian’ creature has been sighted occasionally on Ambungi Island in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Ambungi Island is located on the south coast of West New Britain between Kandrian and Gasmata. The creature has also been sighted on Alage Island, about 1km to the south of Ambungi Island.
I interviewed a young man on Ambungi Island, Robert, who sighted the creature around 2005/2006. The creature was also sighted at the same time by Tony Avil, who was not on Ambungi Island when I was there. Robert does not speak English, so an interpreter was used to translate Pidgin to English.
The creature was described as having a long tail and a long neck and was 10–15 metres in length, with an appearance like a ‘very large wallaby’ and having a head like a turtle’s head.
It walked slowly on two legs and had smooth, shiny brown skin. The top of the head was estimated to be as high as a house and the underbelly of the creature was as high as an adult.
The creature was described as being fearful-looking, with the sighting being made from a distance of about 50 metres. The sighting was made in the late afternoon and was observed for a considerable length of time (not sure of the exact duration of time) and the creature was eating vegetation. Robert and Tony followed the creature from a distance and watched it go into the water after it finished eating.
When shown the handbook by Hazel Richardson, Dinosaurs And Prehistoric Life, Robert identified a picture of a Therizinosaurus as closely matching the animal he observed, with the exception of one feature, i.e. the creature’s head.
The animal that Robert saw had a head looking more like a turtle’s head as opposed to the horse-like head shown in the theropod dinosaur reconstruction on page 114 in the book. Should one wonder at this? Actually, paleontologists are reported as acknowledging that the fossil remains of Therizinosaurus are incomplete. So incomplete in fact that:‘The feeding habits of Therizinosaurus are unknown, since no skull material has ever been found that could indicate its diet.’So it doesn’t surprise me that the artist’s reconstruction of the head of a Therizinosaurus doesn’t fit with the ‘like a turtle’s head’ observation of Robert and Tony. (For a creature that appears to spend much time in the water, I would think that a turtle-like head makes good design sense, too!)
Nine people have seen the ‘reptile’ since the early 1990s, with sightings occurring every 4–5 years, usually around Christmas time. Perhaps the creature is primarily nocturnal, which might account for the small number of sightings. Two women from Ambungi Island observed the creature from a boat on the south (unpopulated) side of the island as it was standing on some rocks at the bottom of a cliff.
The animal has also been sighted swimming between Ambungi Island and Alage Island with its head above the water. I drew the outline of a three-toed foot of a dinosaur in the sand and Robert said that this was similar to the foot of the creature, with the feet being similar to that of a duck. About 90 people live on Ambungi Island, and 2-3 families live on Alage Island. The reptilian creature must be a good climber because Robert showed me the steep rock entrance from the sea to the land on the south side of Ambungi Island that the creature used when he sighted it.
I did not have the opportunity to travel to Alage Island to interview the local people there about the ‘reptilian’ creature, however I met a guy named Michael Atung from a logging company on the New Britain mainland near Abungi Island who was from Alage Island. Michael had heard that it had been sighted on Alage Island, but had not sighted the animal himself.