The Cryptid Zoo: Napes

The word "napes" was invented by the researcher Loren Coleman to describe reports of North American apes. These creatures are distinct from Bigfoot and his cousins because, instead of seeming like something halfway between a human and an ape, the creatures in these reports seem rather like actual apes. They tend to walk on all fours with only brief moments of bipedalism, leaving knuckle-prints with their hands. Napes are usually described as resembling chimps. Napes are supposed to be distinct from both the skunk-apes and the giant monkeys that are also reported from North America, although they can be confused with both of the former cryptids, and some creatures present an intermediate mix of characteristics that make them hard to classify.

Napes are said to prefer swamps that are large and still wild, such as the Florida everglades, but they are reported from other areas of Florida and, in smaller numbers, throughout the southeastern United States. Since the New World is not supposed to have any native apes, only monkeys, these populations seem most likely to represent feral populations of discarded pets or lab animals. However, some researchers working in the field of cryptozoology think that North America does have an undiscovered ape. The more chimp-like napes often present an overall look that seems different from actual chimps, and they are frequently reported to swim, an act that is supposed to be impossible for real chimps.

You can find out more about Napes from the following sources:

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Page 177-178
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Coleman, Jerry D. Strange Highways: A Guidebook to American Mysteries & the Unexplained. Alton, Illinois: Whitechapel Productions Press, 2003. Pages 7, 15-17, 55

Coleman, Loren. The Myakka "Skunk Ape" Photographs

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. New York: Paraview Press, 2001. Pages 38, 110, 187, 204, 206-220

Keel, John A. The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings. New York: Doubleday, 1994. Page 104

Moran, Mark & Sceurman, Mark. Weird N.J.: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004. Page 203

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Pages 15, 64, 69, 109, 128, 198, 255, 264, 307, 317, 322, 338-340, 354, 377, 412, 465, 490, 499

Weidensaul, Scott. The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Page 175

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