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Kaureke

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Kaureke
Mystery otterlike mammal or reptile of Australasia, 
similar to the Wai toreke.

Etymology: Maori (Austronesian), uncertain; 
may mean “very spiny,” may be related to 
“swimming” or “ancestors,” or may just be a 
generic “monster.”

Variant name: Frequently misspelled as Kaureke.

Physical description: Otterlike. Whitish fur.

Behavior: Nocturnal. Seemingly less aquatic 
than the Waitoreke. Observed when it visits its 
watering places. Eats lizards. Lays eggs as large as 
a duck’s.

Distribution: Arowhenua Bush, South Island, 
New Zealand.

Possible explanations: An unknown, egglaying 
mammal (monotreme) or a spiny lizard 
of some kind.

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