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Old 10-11-2011, 06:50 PM
Balance Balance is offline
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Unleash the Kraken

...and hide your ichthyosaurs: http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/11-65.htm

OK, so the title--"Giant Kraken Lair Discovered"--oversells it a bit. Well, maybe a lot, given that the evidence is entirely circumstantial. It's still nifty for those of us fascinated by giant Triassic monsters.

The upshot is that a paleontologist has come up with a new explanation for a very peculiar fossil site in Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada, which is notable for the neatly arranged fossil remains of nine 45-foot ichthyosaurs. Paleontologist Mark McMenamin has suggested that the bones were arranged by a predator that killed the reptiles and dragged them back to its lair to feed. Specifically, he's picturing an octopus big enough to eat whale-sized carnivorous lizards.

It's a hell of an image. Pity there's almost no chance of finding fossil evidence of such a creature. Then again, maybe McMenamin is right, and it left us a self-portrait in the bones of its prey.
  #2  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:55 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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I thought this thread would be about the commercials for this rum.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:00 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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I want to know how one "leashes the Kraken" in the first place.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:03 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Quote:
Pity there's almost no chance of finding fossil evidence of such a creature.
Actually, cephalopods have internal cartilage -- they're not all soft tissue. Even octopus, and I'll bet a big octopus would need more support for its large eyes -- they have cartilage equivalents of orbits and scleral ossicles. So there is a possibility of some fossilized remains.

I n addition, there have certainly been fossilized remains of carbon films from the bodies of ancient octopodes.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:17 PM
Balance Balance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Actually, cephalopods have internal cartilage -- they're not all soft tissue. Even octopus, and I'll bet a big octopus would need more support for its large eyes -- they have cartilage equivalents of orbits and scleral ossicles. So there is a possibility of some fossilized remains.

I n addition, there have certainly been fossilized remains of carbon films from the bodies of ancient octopodes.
All true, and certainly a beak could be fossilized as well, which is why I said "almost". Its evident choice of prey places it as a top predator, so one would expect it to have a low population compared to its prey. Relative rarity combined with fewer body structures that commonly leave recognizable fossil traces means that odds are heavily against finding hard evidence.

Don't get me wrong--I'd love to see it, and it's possible that further examination of the Arizona site will turn something up. I'm just not getting my hopes up.
  #6  
Old 10-11-2011, 07:38 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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Berlin-Ichthyosaur is waaaayyy out in the boonies, but definitely worth a stop. They have a neat "life sized" mural outside the visitor center.
  #7  
Old 10-11-2011, 08:35 PM
Balance Balance is offline
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Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
They have a neat "life sized" mural outside the visitor center.
Someone should make a giant tentacle and drape it over the top of that wall.
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