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Xeogaming Forums - General Chat - The Kraken May Have Existed | |
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Rogue
If you're reading this... You are the Resistance











Since: 08-17-04

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 3 days
Posted on 10-13-11 01:13 PM Link | Quote
I'd been meaning to post this for days, but kept getting side-tracked.

SOURCE


Lair of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Possibly Discovered

A giant sea monster, the likes of the mythological kraken, may have swum Earth's ancient oceans, snagging what was thought to be the sea's top predators — school bus-size ichthyosaurs with fearsome teeth.

The kraken, which would've been nearly 100 feet (30 meters) long, or twice the size of the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis, likely drowned or broke the necks of the ichthyosaurs before dragging the corpses to its lair, akin to an octopus's midden, according to study researcher Mark McMenamin, a paleontologist at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. [Rumor or Reality: The Creatures of Cryptozoology]

There is no direct evidence for the beast, though McMenamin suggests that's because it was soft-bodied and didn't stand the test of time; even so, to make a firm case for its existence one would want to find more direct evidence.

McMenamin presented his work Monday (Oct. 10) at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis.

Cause of death

Evidence for the kraken and its gruesome attacks comes from markings on the bones of the remains of nine 45-foot (14 meter) ichthyosaurs of the species Shonisaurus popularis, which lived during the Triassic, a period that lasted from 248 million to 206 million years ago. The beasts were the Triassic version of today's predatory giant squid-eating sperm whales.

McMenamin was interested in solving a long-standing puzzle over the cause of death of the S. popularis individuals at the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada. An expert on the site, Charles Lewis Camp of U.C. Berkeley, suggested in the 1950s that the ichthyosaurs succumbed to an accidental stranding or a toxic plankton bloom. However, nobody has been able to prove the beasts died in shallow water, with more recent work on the rocks around the fossils by Jennifer Hogler, then at the University of California Museum of Paleontoloy, suggesting they died in a deepwater environment.

"I was aware that anytime there is controversy about depth, there is probably something interesting going on," McMenamin said. And when he and his daughter arrived at the park, they were struck by the remains' strangeness, particularly "a very odd configuration of bones."

The etching on the bones suggested the shonisaurs were not all killed and buried at the same time, he said. It also looked like the bones had been purposefully rearranged, likely carried to the "kraken's lair" after they had been killed. A similar behavior has been seen in modern octopus.

The markings and rearrangement of the S. popularis bones suggests an octopus-like creature (like a kraken) either drowned the ichthyosaurs or broke their necks, according to McMenamin.

The arranged vertebrae also seemed to resemble the pattern of sucker disks on a cephalopod's tentacle, with each vertebra strongly resembling a sucker made by a member of the Coleoidea, which includes octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and their relatives. The researchers suggest this pattern reveals a self-portrait of the mysterious beast.

The perfect crime?

Next, McMenamin wondered if an octopus-like creature could realistically have taken out the huge swimming predatory reptiles. Evidence is in their favor, it seems. Video taken by staff at the Seattle Aquarium showed that a large octopus in one of their large tanks had been killing the sharks.

"We think that this cephalopod in the Triassic was doing the same thing," McMenamin said. More supporting evidence: There were many more broken ribs seen in the shonisaur fossils than would seem accidental, as well as evidence of twisted necks.

"It was either drowning them or breaking their necks," McMenamin said.

So where did this kraken go? Since octopuses are mostly soft-bodied they don't fossilize well and scientists wouldn't expect to find their remains from so long ago. Only their beaks, or mouthparts, are hard and the chances of those being preserved nearby are very low, according to the researchers.

With such circumstanial evidence of "the crime," McMenamin expects his interpretation will draw skeptics. And, in fact, it has. Brian Switek, a research associate at the New Jersey State Museum, writing for Wired.com, is extremely skeptical, writing, "The McMenamins' entire case is based on peculiar inferences about the site. It is a case of reading the scattered bones as if they were tea leaves able to tell someone’s fortune. Rather than being distributed through the bonebed by natural processes related to decay and preservation, the McMenamins argue that the Shonisaurus bones were intentionally arrayed in a 'midden' by a huge cephalopod nearly 100 feet long" (McMenamin worked with his wife, Dianna Schulte McMenamin on the study.)

As for how McMenamin would respond to critics: "We're ready for this. We have a very good case," he said.


So I got WAY TOO excited when I heard they may have found evidence for it. Science!!



(Last edited by Rogue on 10-13-11 01:14 PM)
Elara

Divine Mamkute
Dark Elf Goddess
Chaos Imp
Penguins Fan

Ms. Invisable








Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 12 days
Posted on 10-13-11 10:03 PM Link | Quote
I got really happy when I read this, and even the instant criticism of Ben couldn't shut me down (apparently, if I read it here, he assumes it is bullshit... wtf?). He claimed that there was no difference between a kraken and a giant squid (which is smaller than the colossal squid).
Rogue
If you're reading this... You are the Resistance











Since: 08-17-04

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 3 days
Posted on 10-13-11 11:45 PM Link | Quote
I provide sources!

But yes, there is a difference between a kraken and a giant squid.

I'm geeking out on a whole new level over this.
Elara

Divine Mamkute
Dark Elf Goddess
Chaos Imp
Penguins Fan

Ms. Invisable








Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 12 days
Posted on 10-14-11 01:18 AM Link | Quote
Apparently his beef is that "the scientist isn't calling it a Kraken, the media is".

Ben is fail.
Astrophel
Fear will kill your mind and steal your love as sure as anything;
Fear will rob you blind and make you numb to others suffering









Since: 10-03-04
From: Azul Lux Orbital, Kirin Beta

Since last post: 1085 days
Last activity: 433 days
Posted on 10-14-11 02:04 PM Link | Quote
Clearly we need to send this shit to Cinnabar, get it revived, and have the kraken attack him.
True Flight

The One








Since: 08-21-04

Since last post: 1507 days
Last activity: 1492 days
Posted on 10-14-11 07:12 PM Link | Quote
I don't believe this either.

To be quite honest Squids are some of the oldest creatures in the ocean. Squid can vary in size. At the Smithsonian they have one of the largest squid they found preserved. It's even said that people are unsure of how big a squid can truly get considering that they hang out so low in the ocean.

Squid = Not a Kraken


(Last edited by Sorcha Rohan on 10-14-11 07:14 PM)
Cteno

Super Shotgun
Moderator








Since: 01-11-05

Since last post: 445 days
Last activity: 422 days
Posted on 10-17-11 11:28 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Astrophel
Clearly we need to send this shit to Cinnabar, get it revived, and have the kraken attack him.

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