Cryptid 032A, The Kappa
Type: Reptilian amphibian hybrid
Evidence: Sightings and Legend
Possible Population size: Unknown, more than likely there is a sustainable breeding population.
My thoughts and theories:
These amphibious (and reportedly vicious) reptilian creatures hail from the isolated, mud browned rivers, ponds and streams found all throughout the Japanese Islands, but are most commonly seen in the areas of Kyushu and the southern portion of Honshu.
Described as having a turtle-like shell and beak but also having the smooth skin, double-jointed hind legs, and webbed appendages of a frog. It's also described to have a proboscis-like tongue through which it is able to siphon the blood from its victims, a decidedly chupacabra-esque feature.
Perhaps this creature's most fascinating characteristic is the indentation which curves into the top of its skull. It is said that this crevice must remain perpetually moist, lest the Kappa lose what has been described as its "mystical powers". Just one of these many powers is said to be that of tremendous strength, and there are numerous stories of Kappas pulling not only human victims to their watery graves, but horses as well.
Legend has it that due to this creature's obsessive politeness; all one has to due to avoid being eaten and gain the Kappa's favor, is to bow so low that when it is compelled to return the courtesy, the water in its shallow skull cavity will pour out. This is said to render the animal impotent and therefore harmless to its potential prey. Due to this intriguing behavior, the Kappa has been a favorite character in Japanese fiction for centuries, but to discover the Kappa's biological origins, one must separate the zoological facts from the veneer of Japanese mythology. It seems obvious, even to the layman, that tales of the Kappas supernatural "powers", as well as their prototypically "Japanese" politeness, are probably the byproduct of years of folklore. Despite this, it is not impossible for a reptilian creature to develope a fairly high IQ. Some researchers have even suggested that the cognitive prowess of the Kappa might be even more impressive, especially in light of scientific evidence accumulated over the past two decades in regards to the positive long term affects, which some researchers claim a primarily marine diet may have on an animal's intellect.
Much like their reptilian cousins, the Kappas are said to be sluggish during cold weather and it is commonly believed that these animals hibernate during the frigid winter months. There are even supposed to be two distinct species of Kappa, those who dwell in sea-level ponds and those who have migrated into more mountainous areas. These high-elevation water dwellers are known as "Yamawaro".
With scattered sightings still being reported even now in the twenty-first century, the likely hood of Kappa existing seems possible, especially with the many worldwide reports of reptilian creatures stalking forests, lakes, and river-beds. Prehaps the Kappa is a more evolved species of turtle that we have yet to discover. Or maybe it's another throwback to prehistoric species that survived into the present.
One thing is certian, it is very difficult to draw a Kappa looking anything but goofy.
Cryptid Files: [link]