In 1938, Assistant
Curator of Ornithology Arthur Twomey carried out
a joint expedition to Lower Seal Lake in search of kasagea,
a rumored new species of freshwater seal which even the native Inuit
had rarely seen. In 1942 and 1966, Twomey returned for journeys to
the Mackenzie Delta on the far western tip of Canada, where he collected
which had never been identified by scientists of the time. Twomey's
work shows that even in those relatively “modern” times,
it was still possible for a new species of animal to border on myth.
The excerpts on these pages come from Dr. Twomey's two trips to
the Mackenzie Delta as well as from his captivating book Needle
North, which relates the adventures – and dangers – of
the 1938 Seal Lake expedition.