Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
MysteryMike

Mysteries of the Ennedi Tiger

Recommended Posts

MysteryMike

Hey, have you guys hear of the Ennedi Tiger. They say it is a creature living in the Ennedi Plateau. They say there are two types. A mountain type and water type. Some say it could be just a misidentified large cat like tiger or something and others say it could be a live Smilodon or even a close relative or something.

The Ennedi tiger is a purportedly living Sabertooth cat inhabiting the Ennedi Plateau, located in the east of Chad, in Sub-Saharan Africa.

There are reports of two different species, one that mainly inhabits the mountains (called Hadjel, Gassingram, or Vossoko), and a Water-inhabiting one (called Mourou N'gou, Mamaimé, or Dilali).

The Mountain type, according to the reports, is larger than a lion and lacks a tail. The teeth protrude from the mouth, and the feet are hairy. The coloration is red or reddish-brown with white stripes. It is strong enough to carry off large antelopes. It is nocturnal and cave dwelling in the Ouadai district of the Ennedi mountain range. Natives described it to western explorers, who identified it as a Machairodus sabertooth.

The Water type is of unknown relation to the first, although it is also larger than a lion (8-12 feet), very fierce, and has protruding teeth. The animal's color pattern is red with white markings (comparable to mountain cats), to leopard-like with stripes, to uniform brown. Its teeth are always described as "walrus-like" and the tail is always long in reports. Some have suggested an otter as a candidate. Its habitat extends into the Central African Republic. There are also tales of water lions in folklore in Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sudan. A cave drawing that illustrates a walrus-like creature with a long tail exists in South Africa.

A related footnote: the last lions in the Sahara also survived here, until they became extinct before mid-20th century (the last lion was seen in 1940)

So what do you all think? My guess is that it maybe new unknown species of large cat or maybe even an related species to the Smilodon that evolve to adapt around here. Who knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Stormcrow

I highly doubt undiscovered species of large cat, but anyway, I've never heard of this before. It would be nice to have more info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MysteryMike
I highly doubt undiscovered species of large cat, but anyway, I've never heard of this before. It would be nice to have more info.

Well I'll try to find more info. On the meantime. I must long off now because I'm at school and my class is almost over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fenris1011

Yeah this is new to me as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moon Minion

It's new to me to. But it's got me curious ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Samuronin

Want more info, you got a link?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
digitalartist

Here is the english translation of a german site with more info

Ennedi Tiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
Although conventional wisdom has it that there never have been tigers in Africa, there is evidence from fossils that the sabre-tooth species was found in many parts of the continent until about a million years ago. The reason for their disappearance is unclear, but palaeontologists say it was probably caused by dramatic climatic changes opening up the savannahs.

http://www.indiantiger.org/tigers-around-t...ican-tiger.html

Tigers have never lived in Africa, so that beats the idea it's a tiger of any kind.

Here are your candidates for extinct saber-toothed cats (that lived in Africa):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machairodontinae

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanosmilus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbourofelis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginsburgsmilus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homotherium

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinofelis

All of which appear to have died out millions of years ago, in Africa, while others remained in the Americas and in the area of Europe until about 10,000 BC.

Their chance of having survived today? Practically zip.

So what could the Ennedi Tiger be? Possibly a lion who's spots are more distinct, that also appears to have longer canines than normal. As for the lack of tail, all I have to add on that is it could have been a trick of the light. Most big cats have the ability to carry prey as small as an antelope quite easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mysteryman321

Well if was a large cat i bet villagers would hear or at least encounter it if it was aggressive i mean they would find large heaps of bones or sheep missing or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Otterclaw

Hm, that's certainly something I've never heard of before. (Though I adore big cats.)

And a quick question: How could an otter be a candidate for the water-dwelling species if it has goliath fangs and is supposedly 8-12 feet long?

However the 'water lion' stories around Africa I find especially interesting. If it managed to spread around that many countries, they surely must have been seeing something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Samuronin

Good job Ebony..... and thanks for the link btw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mortagon
The Mountain type, according to the reports, is larger than a lion and lacks a tail. The teeth protrude from the mouth, and the feet are hairy. The coloration is red or reddish-brown with white stripes. It is strong enough to carry off large antelopes. It is nocturnal and cave dwelling in the Ouadai district of the Ennedi mountain range. Natives described it to western explorers, who identified it as a Machairodus sabertooth.

I could have sworn I've heard something about this before. I think it was mentioned on a show on Animal Planet a few years back. I can't remember if they found anything though, but if this animal ever existed I think it is extinct now or just a case of misidentification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Undeadskeptic

Misidentification.

The foundiing father of cryptozoology, Bernard Heuvelmans studied this animal closely in his book "On the Track of Unknown animals". He deduced it was exaggerated and garbled native tales of otters, based upon the sight of particularly ferocious otters killing their prey.

Now that I say it though, I am unsure what Otter distribution is like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Abramelin
http://www.indiantiger.org/tigers-around-t...ican-tiger.html

Tigers have never lived in Africa, so that beats the idea it's a tiger of any kind.

The skeleton of the lion and tiger are so alike that without the skin it is almost impossible to tell them apart, presenting even the best experts with a great challenge.

"Alan Turner, writing about lions and tigers, has mentioned that “their skeletons are very similar in size and overall appearance.” (Page 80, Ref. 14). However, lions have slightly longer limbs than tigers. Both the cats have more strong and dense bone structure in the front legs than in the hind legs. It would be pointless to go for in-depth comparison of skeletons of these cats since there is little skeletal difference."

http://hi.baidu.com/tigerandlion01/blog/it...e87609d7ac.html

So how can we know for sure a fossilized skeleton belonged to either a lion or a tiger?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
The skeleton of the lion and tiger are so alike that without the skin it is almost impossible to tell them apart, presenting even the best experts with a great challenge.

"Alan Turner, writing about lions and tigers, has mentioned that “their skeletons are very similar in size and overall appearance.” (Page 80, Ref. 14). However, lions have slightly longer limbs than tigers. Both the cats have more strong and dense bone structure in the front legs than in the hind legs. It would be pointless to go for in-depth comparison of skeletons of these cats since there is little skeletal difference."

http://hi.baidu.com/tigerandlion01/blog/it...e87609d7ac.html

So how can we know for sure a fossilized skeleton belonged to either a lion or a tiger?

Well, for one, the easiest way to tell would be that tigers are the largest of all existing cat species. I would start with size, and then I would study the skull. A tiger will have a larger, bulkier skull, broader, with larger teeth. Personally, I'm not familiar with either, but if no one else has the time to do the research I sure as hell will when I get back from work. :tu:

Edit: So, finding images to compare the two by is just ridiculous. Who knew you wouldn't be able to find profile views of lion and tiger skeletons...? SO! Instead of going through all that stuff this morning, I'll simply reiterate a few things: Tigers are larger than lions, so if you were to want a definite answer in the long run, I would hope you would compare the "mysterious" skeleton to known lions and tigers. That would certainly be a very handy tip. Additionally, because of the tiger's immense bulk (favoring strength over speed, while a lion is still strong it also has the ability to chase it's prey, while tigers rely mostly on ambush. Also consider that tigers weigh, generally, between 50-100lbs more than the average lion) it's more likely their skeleton will have grown to support more weight. Look for denser bone in the legs, as well as shorter legs in general.

Another way to identify a skeleton would be by identifying the "spine" on the lion's tail. Only some lions have this spine, but it is caused when the last few bones fuse together (the reason and purpose unknown). However, I would look for it, and if not present, then you have a little tougher job on your hands. Seeing as I could find very few skeletons in the first place, I can't find a picture to describe what the spine looks like, so you'll just have to get creative. :(

All in all! They may be similar, but there are still ways to tell the difference--as your quote does say. I'd also like to throw in that a saber-tooth cat's skeleton and that of a lion or tiger are incredibly different, so a saber cat's skeleton should, quite frankly, never be confused for either of the two.

If you have a lion-like skeleton on hand, in Africa, it is a lion. Simple.

Edited by Ebonykrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Abramelin

If specialists in the field of animal anatomy tell me that there is hardly any difference between the skeletons of lions and tigers, I believe them.

There are/were lion species that differed in size, and there are/were tiger species that differed in size. So just by size alone you will not be able to distinguish a lion skeleton from a tiger skeleton, and certainly not with a fossilized skeleton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
If specialists in the field of animal anatomy tell me that there is hardly any difference between the skeletons of lions and tigers, I believe them.

There are/were lion species that differed in size, and there are/were tiger species that differed in size. So just by size alone you will not be able to distinguish a lion skeleton from a tiger skeleton, and certainly not with a fossilized skeleton.

Animal specialists also say that tigers never existed in Africa, but that's not enough...?

Seriously, the only tiger relative that existed in Africa died out millions of years ago. The skeleton of a saber cat is so drastically different from a lion you can tell it by sight alone, and whether you want to believe me or not, that's true. I provided several Wiki links earlier to a few of the saber cat relatives that lived in Africa, but you'll find that they all died out anywhere between 10-5mya, while others existed on numerous other continents up until 10,000 BC. None of these cats are still alive today, at least in Africa, based on that timeline. That means there are no relatives of the tiger alive in Africa today, so you really don't need to compare skeletons in the first place.

Edited by Ebonykrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Abramelin

Animal specialists also say that tigers never existed in Africa, but that's not enough...?

Well, tell me how do they know, when other specialists say it's almost impossible to distinguish a lion skeleton from a tiger skeleton?

They may argue about the environment these animals lived in, but we all know now that the Sahara - to give you an example - was very different many thousands of years ago. Tigers may have lived there, like lions are still living in India, as neigbours of the tigers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
Animal specialists also say that tigers never existed in Africa, but that's not enough...?

Well, tell me how do they know, when other specialists say it's almost impossible to distinguish a lion skeleton from a tiger skeleton?

They may argue about the environment these animals lived in, but we all know now that the Sahara - to give you an example - was very different many thousands of years ago. Tigers may have lived there, like lions are still living in India, as neigbours of the tigers.

Almost impossible isn't the same as being completely and utterly impossible. There is a way to distinguish the two. I would hope that in order to be considered an "animal specialist", you'd recognize the differences and (at least somewhat) be able to identify different skeletons. Otherwise, you're not a very good animal specialist...imo, anyway. As it's been pointed out, there are differences to look for, and someone that has studied the cats should be able to identify them with the right amount of experience.

Tigers, many thousands of years ago, would also have been a bit different than they are today. Very few large mammals have been left unchanged since the time that other big cats existed in Africa (you can wager 10mya to 10,000 BC, and from 10,000 BC to current--all of that is an extraordinary long time). Off the top of my head, I can only think of small rodents, some birds, and select reptiles that have been unchanged since that era. Cats and canines both have gone through amazing changes to adapt to their ever evolving environments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mortagon

Just because some explorers called it a tiger doesn't mean it had to be one. It could be an offshoot species of lion or even a deformed one for all we know. My guess is still misidentification but you never know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
Just because some explorers called it a tiger doesn't mean it had to be one. It could be an offshoot species of lion or even a deformed one for all we know. My guess is still misidentification but you never know.

Whee! There you go.

Smilodon is often referred as a "saber-toothed tiger" (or simply saber-toothed cat), but that certainly doesn't make it a tiger. In fact, the tiger (and genus Panthera as a whole) and smilodon are very, very different. Panthera are theorized to have originated in the clouded leopard. So says Wiki, anyway, I'm too tired to look deeper into it at the moment. I will though, once I have some supper. xD

Quite like the Tasmanian tiger/Tasmanian wolf for the Thylacine--but both names are incorrect. People simply compared the creature to the animal it looked most like because they didn't know already what it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Samuronin

I think its possible for such an animal to survive for 10,000 years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormcrow
I think its possible for such an animal to survive for 10,000 years

Timber wolves and cougars did it, but consider that smilodons (and dire wolves in the case of canines) were not of the same family as these smaller, more agile, more efficient animals. Even American lions and American cheetahs died out because the environment couldn't support them. We were left with animals that were smaller and fitter, that could survive for longer periods of time with less food. They weren't as big, they were very good hunters, and they made their meals last. Nature favors those who are better suited, and saber cats certainly weren't. There's a reason megafauna died out. If they still existed today you'll find evidence. Skeletons, an impact on the environment, living specimens. But, there's none of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moon Minion
Timber wolves and cougars did it, but consider that smilodons (and dire wolves in the case of canines) were not of the same family as these smaller, more agile, more efficient animals. Even American lions and American cheetahs died out because the environment couldn't support them. We were left with animals that were smaller and fitter, that could survive for longer periods of time with less food. They weren't as big, they were very good hunters, and they made their meals last. Nature favors those who are better suited, and saber cats certainly weren't. There's a reason megafauna died out. If they still existed today you'll find evidence. Skeletons, an impact on the environment, living specimens. But, there's none of that.

Agreed. And I do believe such creatures would leave plenty of evidence, not just that, the habitat they once lived in like you said supported their existence. Even some of the animals we have today are headed for extinction for that reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.