The skull was found by David Evans of Avaredo, as he was excavating at a construction site in early May of 2009.
The skull, along with a fore-arm bone, was embedded in thick muck five feet underground.
Although the skull has many features that are similar in superficial aspects to baboons or macaques, closer examination reveals unusual elements that show a distinctive difference. The gray-scale digital illustrations posted with this article are accurate renditions of the skull.
The projecting canine teeth are unusually long and robust in proportion to the skull. They also angle more straightly downward, than the more typically splayed canines of a macaque or baboon. The muzzle is also much shorter than a baboon in relation to the length of the cranium and width of the brow ridges. The skull’s nasal cavity is placed farther back in relation to the front teeth. The sockets are significantly larger and more wide-set than a baboon’s, and the brow ridges are much thicker and wider as well. The shape of the eye sockets are more irregular and elliptical versus the very smooth and spherical eye sockets of most baboons or macaques.
One of the most significant differences of the mystery skull and that of either the baboon or macaque family is a very pronounced sagittal crest that runs from the tops of each of the eye ridges back to the base of the skull, with the ridge of bone splitting and running along both sides of the skull. This feature, and the large hollows behind the very prominent cheekbones are evidence of very large and powerful jaw muscles that are anchored to the ridge of the sagittal crest. In fact, the only primate with a similar. though less robust configuration of the sagittal crest is an orangutan, but the shape of the muzzle and eye orbits differ significantly enough to rule out the orangutan as a candidate. Chimpanzees also do not have a high, sharply defined sagittal crest. This creature, though relatively small, would have a forceful biting capacity rivaling a carnivore such as a leopard or cougar.
There is yet another anomalous aspect of the animal’s remains that bears a closer look. Along with the skull, a single bone was found. In the news reports it was incorrectly identified as a leg bone, but in fact it is undoubtedly the ulna of the creature, which in primates as well as humans, is the larger of the two bones in the lower arm. The configuration of the ulna is very significant in that it is exceptionally straight with a very consistent tapering along its diameter. The shape of the cryptic creature’s ulna definitively rules out an orangutan as the origin, since the ulna of an orangutan has a very pronounced curvature, and a varying diameter along its length. The very straight ulna of the creature, by anatomical inference, also suggests straight leg bones and a more erect and possibly bipedal posture.
The size of the animal would probably be in the range of 3 and 1/2 feet tall and weighing about 35 to 40 pounds, The skull appears to be that of a mature animal. So what is it? There is speculation that it was a buried pet. This does not seem likely, in that the entire skeleton would have been present with the skull in such a case, probably at least wrapped in cloth or placed in a crate or casket. Thorough tests for DNA typing and dating of the specimen should be performed for more accurate determination of its origins. If possible, the area should be searched for more of the skeletal remains.
The skull was discovered on the grounds of St. Alcuin Montessori School, near Churchill Way and Preston Road, Dallas. Could this animal be a creature once native to the Americas? Within the realm of possibilities, there is a chance. The geographic area surrounding Dallas is thought to have been a region that was isolated during the last Ice Age, untouched by glaciers and retaining much of the flora and fauna from previous eons. Near Dallas there is the only known place in the world where eight species of oak trees now grow together in the same forest. In the narrow valleys between the limestone hills, along the creeks and watersheds, even today there are many micro-ecosystems, some of which are more tropical in nature than temperate. Surprisingly, there are actually alligators within Dallas County, and large colonies of beavers within sight of downtown Dallas. There are flocks of feral parrots in White Rock Lake Park, and wild boars along the Trinity River. So the climate even today could support primates of this nature, particularly if they were adapted to a somewhat more carnivorous diet.
To continue with the speculation: although there have been no notable reports of this type of creature having been sighted in the Dallas area, the folklore of Louisiana and of East Texas offer numerous anecdotal tales of similar animals, and there were even sporadic reports in local newspapers from the 1800’s up to about the 1970s in the Deep South. (Curiously, the reports often involve the creatures preying on domestic cats.) In the northern United States there are reports of similarly shaped, but much larger, primarily carnivorous creatures currently being sighted in the woodlands of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Canada. These creatures are not likely to be related to Sasquatch or Bigfoot, being much smaller.