ShukerNature Book 3 - Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, Jungle Walruses, and Other Belated Blog Beasts (Coachwhip Publications: Greenville, 2023); ISBN 978-1-61646-565-0. Pb, 404 pp, colour & b/w pix, bibliography, index.
Available from all good bookstores, including Amazon UK and Amazon USA.
Dr Shuker has been a professional cryptozoological researcher and writer for almost 40 years now, so, as you can imagine, he has covered a vast array of subjects during that lengthy period of time. Yet however many he does document, there are always countless others jostling for position on the literary sidelines, impatiently agitating to secure their place in one of his future books or articles. Of these, there are a number that he has fully intended to blog about for many years, but for a multitude of different reasons he has somehow never got around to doing so in spite of just how much they have always fascinated him. Equally, there are subjects that his many readers down through the years have persistently asked him to blog about but which again he has never actually done so.
During the lengthy, enforced periods of social lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, however, Dr Shuker made a determined effort to rectify the situation concerning these undeservedly delayed, belated subjects, by researching and blogging about as many of them as possible. Having now done so with a sizeable selection, it is these, therefore, that constitute the theme of this third ShukerNature book - which in turn safeguards them from the uncertainties of ongoing online existence by preserving them for all time in print.
They include such long-awaited topics as the awe-inspiring Crystal Palace dinosaur sculptures that Dr Shuker visited and photographed over a decade ago but never wrote up afterwards, his personal views regarding the (in)famous Surgeon's Photograph reputedly depicting an unknown object in Loch Ness, the huge but mysterious animal head discovered in an ancient Egyptian boat, the muddle of misidentification surrounding Lake Dakataua's aquatic migo, the Nandi bear specimen that was actually examined by two of the world's foremost scientists before it mysteriously vanished, the officially-impossible elephant hybrid whose existence proved all the experts wrong, the wry comedy of zoological errors enshrouding the huge but hysterical imperial flea, plus an eclectic assemblage of jungle walruses, flying monkeys, hairless hyaenas, Koch's monstrous Missourium and horrid Hydarchos, Beebe's black-and-white mystery manta ray, the giant lizards of Papua, a tenacious tomb-shattering pterodactyl, and lots more too.
So many of these curious, charismatic subjects have been a long time coming, Dr Shuker freely confesses – but now that they are finally here for you to read about and ponder over, he hopes very much that, as with all the best things in life, you'll consider them well worth the wait.
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