image Snouters (also known as Rhinogrades or, more formally, Rhinogradentia) are a class of animals once found on the Hi-yi-yi Islands in the Pacific. These animals had evolved to use their noses for virtually every imaginable function. For instance, the Sniffling Snouter caught fish with the long delicate threads that emerged from its nostrils. The perfumed Honeytail Snouter stood rigidly upright on its thick nose and caught insects with its sticky tail. The Suctorial Snout Leaper used its long, flat nose to spring itself backwards great distances.

Snouters were first discovered in 1941 by a Swedish naturalist who, while fleeing from the Japanese, became shipwrecked on the Hi-yi-yi Islands. But they received their fullest scientific description in a monograph, Bau und Leben der Rhinogradentia, published in 1957 by the German naturalist Harald Stümpke.

Unfortunately, soon after Dr. Stümpke described the Snouters, the entire Hi-yi-yi island chain sank into the ocean as a result of an earthquake triggered by atomic-bomb testing. When the islands sank, they took with them all trace of the Snouters, except for the sketches which Dr. Stümpke had commissioned an artist to make of them. (Note: recently some amazing color photographs of the Snouters have surfaced.) Dr. Stümpke, who had returned to the islands to conduct further research, sank with the Snouters.

Due to the complete extinction of the Snouters, and the eradication of their only habitat, rumors have arisen to the effect that both Dr. Stümpke and the Snouters never existed. They are alleged to have been the whimsical creation of Gerolf Steiner, a zoology professor at the University of Heidelberg, perhaps inspired by Christian Morgenstern's 1905 poem "Das Nasobem" (about an animal that walked on four snouts). It is not known if there is any substance to this rumor.
Reference: Dr. Harald Stümpke. The Snouters: Form and Life of the Rhinogrades. Translated by Leigh Chadwick. The Natural History Press (1967).

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I recently purchased your book, and was delighted by it. Among other things, I was pleased to see that you included the obscure case of the "snouters", those fictional animals allegedly documented by Dr. Harald Stumpke.

I am not sure if you're aware of this, but the snouters have become something of a "tall tale" (by your definitions) among vertebrate biologists. While few laymen know of the Rhinogrades, several authors of serious texts in paleontology and comparative anatomy have included bogus citations of "Dr. Stumpke's" work in their publications, in an attempt to keep research on these remarkable animals alive! I have on my own bookself a volume of vertebrate paleontology, which proudly includes the Rhinograda in its list of living and extinct mammalian Orders (in close relation to both insectivores and elephants, and of "uncertain" derivation); I'll send you the reference, if you like. Likewise, I have seen coy allusions to Dr. Stumpke in the citation-lists of articles on the evolution of elephants, tapirs, and other nasally well-endowed mammals.

Even scientists, it seems, enjoy the lighthearted fun of a really clever hoax! 😉
Posted by Dr. Sharon Dornhoff  on  Thu Feb 27, 2003  at  05:01 PM
It is the greatest book I have ever read. It is wonderfully illustrated and perfectly written, with information and details on a recently discovered island and it's inhabitants.
Posted by Tyler C.  on  Tue Nov 18, 2003  at  02:20 AM
I have a pet Snouter.

...and if you belive that, you must have one to. 😛
Posted by Black Shard  on  Sun May 01, 2005  at  10:24 AM
Why are you sneezing?
A snouter jumped up my nose,
and it won't come out.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Wed Nov 15, 2006  at  08:27 PM
I Am A Snouter

I am a snouter
It's fun to walk on four snouts
But sneezes? Murder
Posted by I am a snouter  on  Tue Nov 28, 2006  at  11:05 AM
Definitely check out those pictures from the link in the story. Just one comment, I think this site should have larger pics of the animals. Thanks. GTA 5 Cheats
Posted by cool  on  Thu Jan 15, 2009  at  10:39 PM