|Average height||6-10ft tall|
|Behind the Scenes|
The skunk ape, also known as the Florida sandman, is a mysterious bipedal primate believed to be related to the sasquatch. Although they are found in many different ecosystems across North America, they are primarily located in swamps and especially in the southern United States. This aids in their distinction from sasquatches as they possess a different home range (generally considered as being restricted to the Pacific Northwest). There are also both physical and habitual differences between the two. Examples of famous skunk apes include the Abominable Swamp Slob, the Everglades Ape, the Fouke Monster, the Green Chimp, the Holopaw Gorilla, the Honey Island Swamp Monster, Momo, and the Myakka Skunk Ape.
The two or three different varieties of skunk ape have come about as the definition varies from one cryptozoologist to the next, and because it has evolved over time. These variations are naturally significantly different that technically the creatures would probably not be directly related on an evolutionary standard, though there is little other way to describe them and it is considered hard to lump them all together.
The primary characteristic of a skunk ape is their extremely odoriferous, nauseating smell. However, this once defining factor of their physiology is now not as important as more non-smelly creatures are being labeled as "skunk apes" as well. It is possible that they smell so bad due to spending much of their time in underground dens where they are believed to lay curled up with carrion stolen from local alligators. It is also believed that this subterranean lifestyle is the reason for the rare sightings and lack of capture.
Most subtypes of skunk ape are bipedal, though they show a tendency to drop to all fours and run that way when it is more useful to them.
Some are said to resemble the sasquatch (especially those found in Florida), but tend to be much larger and sometimes are noted for oversized heads that look more monster-like than ape-like. Other beings labeled as skunk apes appear to be more of a unnatural hybrid between a dog, a giant monkey and a kangaroo. The fur or hair color is typically dark, with many described individuals possessing black or deep brown hues — a tail is also occasionally mentioned. When it is described, the tail is generally bushy like that of a fox or a wolf; this links them to devil monkeys and would definitely indicate that the skunk apes are in fact not apes at all but monkeys.
Even so, several reports state that they could be little more than feral populations of chimps and orangutans which could have developed from abandoned pets and/or lab animals. These are more properly known as napes, short for "North American apes" instead.
Those skunk apes found in Florida are often located within swampy biomes such as the Everglades. This breed is more physically "normal" than those breeds found elsewhere, leaving many to classify them as a unique type of creature that could actually be an existent species.
Even those skunk apes listed as being similar in appearance to a 'squatch, they are noted as being especially different in terms of foot shape and number of toes, which has been known to be quite variable — often it is a three-toed footprint that is found. Since the number of toes is one of the slowest-changing features as a species evolves, it is not generally thought that a primate could have developed such a foot. This leaves a lot of problems for those who hope to prove that skunk apes with atypical feet are true creatures, because the skunk apes' feet really ought to match up to biological expectations better.
For reasons not well known, skunk apes are apparently very aggressive towards canids. A carnivorous diet seems to consist of a lot of livestock, which they are attributed to being a significant contributing factor, especially in smaller varieties of livestock such as goats and chickens. There are very rare reports of man eaters, though they are typically based on older legends, which makes it very difficult to verify whether someone was ever actually slain or not, whether by a cryptid or not.
Those serious about cryptozoology and cryptids in general often dismiss the skunk ape due to the many characteristics that make them seem unlikely from a biological viewpoint. This has led to their credibility coming into question, ultimately causing them to receive significantly less attention from the cryptozoologic community. Because of their many exhibited paranormal characteristics, cryptozoologists simply consider them unattractive ventures as they appear as mere urban legend. Examples of some of these abilities that make them unlikely creatures are glowing eyes or being bulletproof at close range, both of which have been described by different reports.