Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology. Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture, and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world.
Daniel Loxton is the editor of Junior Skeptic and a staff writer for Skeptic, for which he specializes in critical scholarship regarding claims of legendary animals. Known for his even-handed approach-and for his lifelong personal love of monster mysteries-Loxton is one of the most widely respected skeptical critics of cryptozoology. He is the author and primary illustrator of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be (winner of the 2010 Lane Anderson Award as Canada's best science book for young readers) and of the photorealistic paleofiction storybooks Pterosaur Trouble and Ankylosaur Attack, the first two books in the series Tales of Prehistoric Life. Donald R. Prothero is one of the leading scientists and authors working in paleontology and evolution. He is a former professor of geology at Occidental College and lecturer in geobiology at Caltech. He is presently a research associate in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and is the author of more than 30 books and 250 scientific papers published in leading scholarly journals. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, and the Linnean Society of London. In 1991, he received the award for "Outstanding Paleontologist Under the Age of 40," and was awarded the 2013 James Shea Award by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers for outstanding writing and editing in the geosciences.
Foreword, by Michael Shermer Preface Acknowledgments 1. Cryptozoology: Real Science or Pseudoscience? 2. Bigfoot: The Sasquatch 3. The Yeti: The Abominable Snowman 4. Nessie: The Loch Ness Monster 5. The Evolution of the Sea Serpent: From Hippocamp to Cadborosaurus 6. Mokele Mbembe: The Congo Dinosaur 7. Why Do People Believe in Monsters? The Complexity of Cryptozoology Notes Index