Friday, February 08, 2013

The elusive Kallana (Stone Elephant)

Elephant Self-Portrait
Elephant Self-Portrait (Photo credit: Cybjorg)
Kallana - കല്ലാന  (the literal translation would be stone elephant) is an elusive species of elephant supposed to be seen in Kerala, that belongs to the realm of cryptozoology. The locals describe it as a adult elephant with a maximum height of 5 feet, but with normal trunk and tail. Till recently it was only a local folklore like the bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. Recently one was captured, but whether it is a mutant pygmy elephant or a new species has yet to be ascertained. Even a genetic test could be inconclusive as proof of many such elephants with the same genotype and phenotypic presentation is needed for defining a species. Well documented pygmy elephant species (Elephas maximus borneensis) has been described in other parts of the world.