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The Search for Caddy

Dirk Vander Ploeg's picture

In Search of Caddy

Source: The Hieronimus & Co. Newlsletter, Vol. 1, No. 7


The Fircom carcass, washed up at Camp Fircom, British Columbia, October 4 1936.

 

The family of large aquatic reptiles that frequents the coast of British Columbia has been repeatedly sighted by credible witnesses -- the legends about them date back to Native American traditions. The locals affectionately call the creature "Caddy", short for Cadborosaurus, which takes its name from the Cadboro Bay where it is most often seen. In 1937 a slightly digested juvenile "Caddy" measuring about 10 feet was extracted from the stomach of a sperm whale and the photographs of it, published in Bousfield and LeBlond's book and scientific journal, may be the best evidence to date of a contemporary sea serpent.

Dr. Paul H. LeBlond is a distinguished Canadian marine scientist and professor with the Department of Oceanography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Dr. Edward L. Bousfield is a retired Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, following a long career with the Zoology Division of the National Museum, Ottawa.

Drs. Bousfield and LeBlond have appeared twice as guests on 21st Century Radio when they reviewed their "Caddy" research. In their book, Cadborosaurus Survivor from the Deep, published by Horsdal and Schubart (phone: 604-360-2031) earlier this year, they detail Caddy's most striking features:

  • 1. Its dimensions, ranging from five to 15 metres in length;
  • 2. Its body form: snake-like, or serpentine, with extraordinary flexibility in the vertical plane;
  • 3. The appearance of its head, variously described as resembling that of a sheep, horse, giraffe or camel;
  • 4. The length of its neck, elongated, ranging from one to four metres;
  • 5. The vertical humps or loops of the body, arranged in tandem series directly behind the neck;
  • 6. The presence of a pair of anterior flippers; posterior flipper absent or nearly fused with the body;
  • 7. The tail, dorsally toothed or spiky, and split horizontally or fluke-like at the top;
  • 8. The very high swimming speed, clocked at up to 40 knots at the surface.

As they explain in their abstract to the Amphipacifica article, "Through lack of a permanent reference specimen, the species was previously unrecognized by science. In our view, the records do contain published evidence of 'specimens in hand', and are sufficiently voluminous and internally consistent to conclude that the animal is real, and merits formal taxonomic description.... In general features of head, two pairs of flippers, and short tail, the animal appears least unlike some plesiosaur of Mesozoic age. However, its large distinctive hind flippers are apparently webbed to the true tail to form a broad fluke-like propulsive caudal appendage. When swimming rapidly at the surface, the trunk region characteristically forms into two or more vertical humps or loops in tandem behind the neck. The authors recommend that the species be considered for the COSEWIC primary list of rare and endangered species of Canada."

 



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