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Episode 194
The Mapinguari is Not the Territory

Editor’s Note: We’ve officially hit a decade of MonsterTalk. Our first episode aired in July of 2009. With this episode, we’re announcing the end our decade-long partnership with Skeptic Magazine and the Skeptics Society. This was a difficult decision, but we are proud of the work we did together and are very happy with the support that Skeptic has given us during our relationship. Details about the future of MonsterTalk are provided after the interview segment in this show. Thanks again to all the people at Skeptic for their support in the growth of our audience, and our continued shared mission of promoting critical thinking and scientific skepticism.

In this episode we get “old school” and talk about the legendary Mapinguari, and how cryptozoologists have tried to explain the folklore of this massive South American animal by claiming it to be a kind of Bigfoot creature, or even a Giant Ground Sloth. We take a deep dive into what Paleontology can tell us about the real historical records of Giant Ground Sloths (Megatherium) and see how well these creatures line up with the legend of the Mapinguari. Our guest is Uruguayan paleontologist Dr. Richard A. Fariña.

Megatherium americanum complete

Megatherium americanum

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We also discussed a few megafauna in this episode. Here’s our Who’s Who for those names:


The views expressed on this program are not necessarily the views of the Skeptics Society or Skeptic magazine.

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