2004 - Juvenile Ozark Howler Shot Dead?
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Has a juvenile Ozark Howler Corpse Been Found?
In a startling development in the hunt for the ozark howler, it now appears that the corpse of a juvenile ozark howler may have been found in extreme eastern Texas.

Photograph of the juvenile Ozark Howler corpse
This photograph appears to show a juvenile member of the ozark howler species, shot dead in east Texas, well within the ozark howler's traditional range.

Specimen fits description of ozark howler young
As Jon Erickson's reports of ozark howler sightings in east Texas, compiled in 1976 and re-released in 1982, indicate, the legends of ozark howler sightings include reports of juvenile members of the species.

The young of the ozark howler, colloquially referred to as "pups", do not yet have the distinctive beard and "horns" of the mature ozark howler. The old stories of the ozark howler also consistently report a tawny color, with none of the black or dark brown fur found in the adult ozark howlers. The distinct color of juvenile ozark howlers, as shown in this photograph, brings a camouflage advantage in the scrub and tall grass of the ozark glen ecosystems.


DNA analysis taking place
Early results from the DNA analysis rule out the more outlandish explanations of the ozark howler's identity - this is no extraterrestrial. The DNA is consistent with life originating on Earth.

The DNA results have not matched the cougar, lynx, or other known cat species in North America! The ozark howler is clearly something else, a new family of mammalian predator.

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First mistaken as a "chupacabra", biologists are now focusing on ozark howler identification
Texas Rancher Devin Macanally says that he doesn't know what the animal is called, but reports that it has been attacking his chickens, a pattern of behavior consistent with a cat-like predator, but at odds with the chupacabra, which has always been reported to attack goats and other mammalian livestock, never birds.

Of course, the eastern cougar research segment of ozark howler researchers is struggling to incorporate this physical specimen of the ozark howler into their theories that the ozark howler is merely some kind of puma, or puma/lynx hybrid.

Obviously, as this juvenile ozark howler corpse demonstrates, the ozark howler is an unknown carnivore that is neither a bear nor a cat, and not even a dog, but something different - perhaps something in between.

Photograph of the Ozark Howler - From 1987
The long legs of the juvenile ozark howler develop into the unusually powerful haunches of the adult ozark howler, shown in stark relief in this classic photograph of the ozark howler.

Where do the ozark howler young develop?
Unlike the adult ozark howler, who are a staple of ozark folklore due to their distinctive vocalizations, the juvenile ozark howlers are rarely sighted.

Indeed the only sightings of young ozark howlers have been along with adult ozark howlers, presumably their parents.

The lack of prominent vocalizations, the howl of the ozark howler, among the young of the species, is probably an adaptive trait. Ozark howlers, it is believed, only begin their howling, the eerie sound known throughout the rural ozark landscape, when they are physically able to defend themselves from rival howlers, as well as other species, such as bears, cougars and wolves.

It is also possible that the howl is part of adult hunting behavior, a kind of communication among a widely dispersed pack.

Alternatively, the howl could be part of a reproductive ritual, a mating call.

In any case, the juvenile ozark howlers would have no reason to howl. Only the stocky, shaggy, "horned" adults have been heard to howl.