Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 7th, 2005
Possible Identification Proposed: The Rediscovery of an Extinct Species
The new animal from Borneo does somewhat match another camera trap "mystery creature" photographed by Malaysian wildlife specialists, and pictured directly below. This gave me a hint of what the “new” animal might be. Take a peek…
Photo credit goes to the Wildlife Conservation Society, Upper Baram Project, Malaysia. This organization obtained an interesting series of camera trap photos in 2004 on the unlogged areas of Mount Murud Kecil, Sarawak. One is of this slender unknown civet, shown above, with a very long tail, pale underparts and white around the muzzle, similar to Hose’s palm civet. This individual was photographed on the ridge of the mountain, far from the streams which are the Hose’s palm civet’s supposed habitat.
Compare the photos from Mount Murud Kecil, at the top of this blog, with this drawing of the newly discovered Borneo "civet." I think there is a good case to be made that the new Borneo animal is the allegedly extinct (since 1955) Hose’s palm civet, and may be similar to the above photographed "underreported" unknown civet from Mount Murud Kecil.
The new mammal "discovered" in Borneo, naturally, comes to the attention of cryptozoology and an analysis based on a broad review of what is ethnoknown about similar cryptids is helpful in revealing the “new” Borneo animal’s identity.
Please recall, this new Borneo animal is known only from two camera trap photographs (see our earlier blog), one of which shows this new animal with a leaf across its face and the other from behind. As far as is known, that is what has been deemed as evidence of this new animal’s "discovery."
But it does seem more proper to say this is the probable “rediscovery” of an extinct form, the Hose’s palm civet, as can be seen in a drawing from the excellent Lioncrusher reference site and shown directly below this paragraph. The Hose’s palm civet appears to be what we are talking about from Borneo, and in all of these situations.
Also, the "new" Borneo animal and the unknown Mount Murud Kecil civet reinforce, positively, the use of camera traps, as a method to show "hidden" animals, the foundation subjects of cryptozoology, literally the study of hidden animals.
With regard to this specific "new" Borneo animal, as noted above, it does therefore match this other camera trap "mystery creature" photographed by Malaysian wildlife specialists, which has never been widely shown before. The "new" Borneo animal is therefore a civet, members of the family Viverridae, and, I speculate, an example of a rediscovered (no longer extinct) Hose’s Palm Civet (Diplogale hosei).
BTW, the viverrids such as these Borneo civets, and the American procyonids (coatmundis and kinkajous) look like each other because of convergent evolution.
I would be delighted to answer any questions about this developing discovery via an exchange in the comments section below.
Thanks to Cameron and Matt Bille for data that reinforced our initial identification speculations in these "civet" blogs.