A Closer Look

Matti Aumala

The Mystery of the Chupie

It is commonly thought that there is only one arbonychosaur species living in the Caribbean: the island arb. There are however those who disagree. These are the people who have seen the mysterious chupie, the cryptid arbro of the West Indies, named after the Arel cryptid "El chupacabra" which it resembles to a striking degree.

The chupie is usually described as a bipedal creature reminiscent of a large strigosaurid, but with certain distinctive traits: the chupie has long stiff quill-like feathers growing on its head, neck and back, very long, almost birdlike feathers on its arms and long sharp canine-like teeth. It is sometimes described as being grey, sometimes nearly black and sometimes a muted green or ochra, but usually eywitnesses mention the jaguar-like spots on its plumage. It also has large very dark red eyes, described as either round or almond-shaped.

Chupies are said to be vampiric and subsist solely on blood. Alledgedly the chupie hunts small mammals by stalking them from a tree. It jumps or glides down silently on the prey taking it by surprise and immobilizing it with its legs. The chupie then proceeds to kill its prey, not with its claws but with a bite to the neck. The dinosaur then proceeds to suck the animal dry (how exactly has never been satisfactorily explained) and then abandons the bloodless husk. Some have claimed to have found dead animals, larger than the chupie itself, with clear chupie bitemarks on their neck. However, there have never been any reports of chupies attacking humans.

Chupies have never been captured alive nor dead, and the few existing photographs could just as well have been taken of a just about any species of arbro. Some eyewitnesses claim that the chupies they saw escaped by flying or jumping and gliding with their arm-feathers, which they used somewhat like functional wings. This has inspired some speculation that chupie might be some sort of weird enantiornithian instead of an arbonychosaur. One of the wildest theories claims that chupie is actually a long lost relative of Rahonavis. Any such speculation is nevertheless bound to be fruitless until we can conclusively prove the existance of this cryptic creature - if it really exists outside the imagination of a few overimaginative individuals at all.

Matti Aumala

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