Jonathan Swift [1667-1745] in his book, “Gulliver’s Travels” [1726], described Australia long before the voyage of Captain James Cook RN [1770], with information which could only have come from ancient Chinese writings on the mysterious southern continent. He also described a primitive hairy race that inhabited that land as the Yahoos.

Jonathan Swift
Photo courtesy of the British Information Service, London UK.

The Yowie Mystery - Living Fossils from the Dreamtime.

Copyright © 2007 by Rex Gilroy
All rights reserved
First Edition

Rex and Heather Gilroy are recognised internationally as Australia’s foremost relict hominid researchers. This book celebrates Rex Gilroy’s 50 years as the ‘father’ of Yowie research. Rex and Heather are also recognised internationally as one of the world’s foremost husband and wife research teams in the field of ‘Unexplained’ mysteries.

These daring and outspoken researchers are no friends of the Australian hard-core, narrow-minded scientific establishment, who would prefer that books of the kind produced by the Gilroys were prevented from publication.

When not carrying out field work, Rex and his wife Heather [a Registered Nurse/Midwife by profession] are at home writing books, surrounded by their huge reference library of books on all manner of scientific subjects. Besides their many and varied researches, Rex and Heather Gilroy are also involved in community service work as members of the Rotary Club of Katoomba.

Dead Horse Gap, near Thredbo. This wild region of the Snowy Mountains has been a “hairy man” locale since the first years of 19th century settlement hereabouts.

During June 1999 a stockman was riding his horse through wild scrub overlooking the road near where this photo was taken, when he spotted a number of “huge man-like footprints” in a mud patch.

Dead Horse Gap
Photo copyright © Rex Gilroy 2007

Excerpts from - "The Yowie Mystery" - Living Fossils from the Dreamtime.
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No study of our primitive human-like ancestors is complete without knowing something about the environment in which they lived. Because we are primarily concerned with the ‘unknown’ Stone-Age past of pre-Aboriginal Australia, we shall confine ourselves to our part of the world. As the authors have evidence to hand pointing to a Miocene-Pliocene primate/ancestral hominid fossil record within Australia, linked to a new theory involving the continental break-up in geological times, and which we shall turn to in the following chapter, we shall here confine ourselves to a picture of life in those times…

Throughout the Tertiary Period, which began around 65 million years ago and covered the next six epochs, as discussed in the next chapter, Australia was invaded by the sea. It had retreated during the previous Oligocene epoch, but advanced again shortly before the beginning of the Miocene epoch. The most extensive flooding took place in the southern part of Australia. Elsewhere rainforests were gradually replaced by more arid-adapted woodland and savannah expanses. The Mammalian fauna at this time included grazing diprotodontians: at least four genera of Marsupial Lion; the Thylacine; giant flightless birds such as Dromornis australis and other megafauna.

The coming of the Pliocene period around 7 million years ago saw a recession of the sea and intense volcanicity over a wide area of eastern Australia. At the same time our growing marsupial fauna saw diprotodontian marsupials [which included possums and wombats] evolving quite ‘modern’ features. There was a lush environment with much permanent water. Certain fossils about to be discussed in the next chapter suggest that primate species, particularly the earliest ground-dwelling forms, were present in Australia during the Miocene.

They were joined by the beginning of the Pliocene by ancestral hominids as suggested by the Bega skull endocasts. Our fossil evidence for Miocene primate presence is sparse at present, but the environment of the time would certainly have been favourable to these animals. As these ancient primates would have been herbivores [folivores], they would have routinely consumed significant amounts of insects on the leaves that they ate. As we humans are primates this information is relevant! Primate diets tend to be highly variable on a month-to-month basis in the wild.

We cannot say whether the owners of the primate feet and hand slate fossil impressions [see next chapter] were entirely herbivorous. They might have been omnivorous feeders and therefore might have displayed predatory behaviour towards other animals, even their own kind. As Harding [1981] reports, there is widespread evidence of predatory behaviour and meat consumption among non-human primates.

“It is now clear that several primate populations make regular and substantial use of precisely the type of food [animal flesh] which the early theories described as instrumental in the emergence of hominids”. Carnivorous feeding habits in our primate ancestors led to the use of the first crude weapons such as jagged bones and stones and broken tree limbs used as clubs, which in time led to the development of crudely flaked stone tools and sharpened saplings for spears etc, as our primate ancestors began to progress to a more near-human evolutionary stage.

It is argued by the authors that, at the time these events were transpiring, Australia and New Guinea were part of a great land shelf joined to mainland Asia during Pliocene-Pleistocene times and that an offshoot land shelf joined New Zealand [then a single landmass] to New Guinea. By the dawn of the last great Ice-Age, the Pleistocene period, around 2 million years ago, following the close of the Pliocene period, and which was to last until about 10,000 years ago, a wide variety of unique species had evolved in Australia. Unlike the harsh conditions of the northern hemisphere, Australia did not experience extensive glaciation, this being confined to the Victorian-New South Wales Alps and also Tasmania.

The rest of Australia experienced a warm and temperate climate, the interior being a land of richly vegetated plains, forests, lakes and river systems. This environment supported a vast population of marsupial, bird and reptilian life, and they in turn provided an endless supply of food for our Stone- Age hominids.

Rex Gilroy
Australian Yowie Research Centre,
Katoomba, NSW
Monday 25th June 2007

Australian Yowie Research Index | Entire Web site © Rex & Heather Gilroy | URU Publications ® ™ Rex & Heather Gilroy. All Rights Reserved

Excerpts from - "The Yowie Mystery" - Living Fossils from the Dreamtime.
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Mysterious Australia | Entire Web site © Rex & Heather Gilroy | URU Publications ® ™ Rex & Heather Gilroy. All Rights Reserved

Australian Yowie Research Centre Est...1976 by Rex Gilroy for the sole purpose of Scientific Study of the Australian Hairy - man
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