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Live plesiosaurs: weighing the evidence

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In the Mouth of Madness
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« on: October 15, 2011, 03:36:33 pm »

Are Plesiosaurs Still Alive Today?



Question:
"Could Elasmosaurus be the loch ness monster?"
from E.C.W. 10/21/01
Answer:

   For more than a hundred years, strange creatures have been seen in the oceans by thousands of people. Many claim that what they saw was a Plesiosaur.

Elasmosaurus was the largest plesiosaur that we know of. A plesiosaur is an aquatic reptile that some claim died out millions of years ago. My page on the Leviathan http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/leviathan.html shows that these creatures did in fact live with man, and are mentioned in the bible.

Could it be that those who believe in evolution are wrong, and that some plesiosaurs may still be alive today?

Our oceans are for the most part unexplored. Every year we hear of new animals being found that no one has ever seen before. We also hear of animals we once thought were extinct, being found in remote parts of the world.. and they are very much alive.

Could this be true of the Plesiosaur?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 04:03:00 pm by In the Mouth of Madness » Report Spam   Logged

In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 03:37:42 pm »


I personally believe that plesiosaurs could still be alive. If they are they exist in very small numbers. I think "Champ", which I discuss on another page, is a perfect candidate.

However there are many erroneous claims of living plesiosaurs, and I want to clear some of those up.

Only God knows for certain whether or not plesiosaurs are still alive. But again, if you believe that the world is millions of years old, then the possibility of a plesiosaur still living would be hard to accept. But if you believe the Bible, that the earth is less than 10 thousand years old, then the survival of the plesiosaur makes a whole lot more sense.

The chance of a sea dwelling creature surviving harsh environmental and ecological changes (since the Biblical flood) is greater than that of a land dwelling animal.

We have sent men to the moon. But we have yet to explore the vast depths of our seas.

http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/lochness.html
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In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 03:38:28 pm »

Loch ness

Here are 3 pictures of what could be an aquatic reptile inhabiting the loch ness. These pictures were taken using sonar which can penetrate the dark waters like no other camera can. There is some evidence that these photos were "enhanced" however, so these photos must be examined more closely.



   The first picture above shows the creatures head and neck (left side of picture).


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In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 03:39:01 pm »






These 2 pictures (allegedly) show 2 views of the creatures diamond shaped flippers.    

It has been claimed that these pictures have been altered. I will examine this possibility soon.

If plesiosaurs have survived, then they could be the basis for so many of the "sea monster" stories that exist today.

A reasonable question to ask is "why aren't there any good pictures of Loch ness monster?"

And if you look around, you will find some pictures. None of them good enough to build a strong case on.
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 03:39:27 pm »



   Be cautioned.. many of the Loch ness pictures are hoax's.

What appears to be a very suspicious looking sea monster here is actually a piece of wood. Alex Menzies saw it floating in Urquhart Bay and Frank Searle used the picture and retouched it to look like a plesiosaur. This was one of his early fakes, which got a little better through the years.
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 03:40:02 pm »

There is no question that there are even some fake pictures out there... But that doesn't mean they all are.

There are some fake 20 dollar bills out there too, that doesn't mean they're all fake.

This is why it is always important to research these things yourself.

The first is the Zuiyo-maru carcass.

In 1977 a Japanese fishing boat was the center of an astonishing find. While its nets were dropped to a depth of 1000 feet, a large animal carcass became entangled in its net. The massive creature was 33 feet long and weighed about 4,000 pounds.

Upon examination, none of the men onboard were able to identify it.

Tissue samples were taken along with several pictures.

To avoid contaminating millions of dollars worth of fish onboard,(and because of the horrible stench) the decaying carcass was dropped overboard.

Scientists were asked to view the pictures, and were also unable to identify it.
Many viewed it as being the carcass of a plesiosaur, which had previously been thought extinct for millions of years. Others feel that it is the rotted carcass of a basking shark.

Many people have claimed (and still claim) that this was a plesiosaur. This thrilled many in the scientific community.

As much as I would like this to be true, there is a great deal of evidence that it is NOT a plesiosaur.

I have posted the evidence that the Zuiyo-maru carcass is a Basking shark HERE

http://www.angelfire.com/www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/zuiyomaru.html

http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/lochness.html
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 03:41:03 pm »

Dr. Kent Hovind claims that these 2 pictures are a plesiosaur.

   



On his website he says the following:

    "This apparent Plesiosaur washed up on Moore's Beach in Monterey Bay, California in 1925. The neck was described as being about 20 feet long. No credible explanation has ever been made to explain it, other than Plesiosaurs still living in the Pacific Ocean."

Dr. Hovind uses the book "Shipwrecks and Sea Monsters" as the source of his information.

In April of 1998, I contacted one of the world's leading cryptozoologists about this carcass. This is his reply:

    4/16/98
    "It is definitely a beaked or Bairdís whale and was identified by a competent marine zoologist at the time. It does not have a 20 foot neck. That is the body which and already been either eaten or by other animals or decomposed."
    Blackhawk

I contacted (2001) Dr. Hovind about this, and he never gave an adequate response.

Whether plesiosaurs are alive or extinct is certainly interesting to think about. But what is more important than this is acknowledging that God is Creator, and that all animals living and extinct were made by God and not by a long process of evolution.

http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/lochness.html
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 03:42:08 pm by In the Mouth of Madness » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 04:04:27 pm »

Live plesiosaurs: weighing the evidence

by Dr Pierre Jerlström
Summary

The wealth of fossilized plesiosaur skeletons testify that these creatures roamed the waters of the past. Recent finds of plesiosaur-like carcasses, on the other hand, have been controversial. Of all plesiosaur-like creatures washed up on shores around the world, basking sharks account for over 90%. The conclusion of the Japanese study published in 1978 on the 1977 Zuiyo-maru carcass trawled off the New Zealand coast, clearly supports identification as a shark. There is evidence, however, for live plesiosaurs in recent times.
Introduction

From its find in 1977, the Zuiyo-maru carcass has been the source of controversy. A thorough Japanese report was published in 1978, but confusion about the observations and conclusion of this study still remains today. This is evident from the varied opinions in the many books1–6 articles and reviews,7–10 and letters to editors11–15 relating this find. Controversies surrounding sea creature finds, and more specifically plesiosaur-related ones, are nothing new, however, as they have raged long before the famous Japanese find (see below). I believe this article is needed to help sort out the confusion in creationist circles concerning the validity of plesiosaur finds, especially the 1977 carcass, as most have not had the opportunity (as I had not) to study all the relevant information systematically.

In this article I will provide some pertinent background information, a summary on the most salient points from the published study in 1978, followed by a few independent conclusions from the available data, and then finally my conclusion to the whole issue.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2011, 04:05:03 pm »



Figure 1. Artistic representation of Cryptoclidus.
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2011, 04:05:49 pm »

Plesiosaur evidence

The past existence of plesiosaurs is evident from the wealth of fossilized skeletal remains unearthed worldwide. From the skeletons and from our knowledge of structure and function of various body types from presently living animals, these creatures have been reconstructed, to give us an idea of their appearance and how they may have lived.

Plesiosaurs were marine dwelling reptiles, and based on skeletons found to date they ranged in size from more than 2 meters (7 feet) for Plesiosaurus to about 14 meters (46 feet) for Elasmosaurus.16, 17

The order Plesiosauria has been divided into two Superfamilies16: Plesiosauroidea, such as Cryptoclidus (sometimes spelt Cryptocleidus, Figures 1, 2b), characterized by long necks, with 28–71 vertebrae, and small heads, and Pliosauroidea, whose members had large heads and short necks with as few as 13 vertebrae. A huge pliosaur was Kronosaurus (Fig. 2a), whose skull alone was 2.4 meters (8 feet) long.

Plesiosaurs possessed deep bodies and flipper-like limbs unique among marine reptiles, ending in phalanges consisting of five to ten bones (see Figure 1, 2b). The flippers, shaped like hydrofoils, were moved in large vertical strokes enabling the ‘subaqueous flight’ swimming style similar to sea turtles and penguins. The bones of the pectoral and pelvic girdles formed broad plates on the underside of the body to where the limbs and powerful swimming muscles were attached. A number of dense ventral, costa-like ribs connected the two plates, providing a strong, rigid base for the movement of the flippers (Figure 2a). It is also believed that plesiosaurs crawled on to beaches to lay their eggs in a similar manner to turtles, the rigid base providing the necessary support and protection.16,17

According to evolutionary dating methods they are believed to have lived in the Mesozoic Era, approximately 230–65 million years ago.
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2011, 04:06:08 pm »

According to Dixon et al.,16

    ‘Plesiosaurs seem to have changed little during their 135 million years of evolution. The earliest member of the group, Plesiosaurus, had already developed all the main structural features that characterize these marine reptiles … The pliosaurs first appeared in the Early Jurassic, alongside their ancestors, the plesiosauroids.’

So it appears that the fossil record supports creation of the plesiosaur type and variation within the kind. In Genesis 1:20–23, however, we read that plesiosaurs were created with the rest of the sea creatures on Day 5 of Creation Week:

    ‘And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

    ‘And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    ‘And God blessed them, saying, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

    ‘And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.’
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2011, 04:06:35 pm »



Figure 2. Gross morphology and alignment.
a) Kronosaurus.
b) Reconstructed Cryptoclidus skeleton (after Norman17).
c) Basking shark with inset ‘pseudoplesiosaur’ (after Kuban, ref. 10).
d) Sketch and proportions of the Zuiyo-maru carcass by Michihiko Yano. The sketch was made from memory, after the carcass had been discarded, and the bones were Yano’s interpolations. Note that the carcass proportions were wrongly portrayed in Yano’s drawing (from Collected Papers on the Carcass of an Unidentified Animal trawled off New Zealand by the Zuiyo-maru, 1978).
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2011, 04:07:14 pm »

Documented history of sea carcasses

But are plesiosaurs alive today, or did they become extinct? Many cases of ‘sea creatures’ being washed up on seashores are documented around the world. In a lot of these instances the media hype, preconceived ideas and people’s fascination with monsters have coloured the rational interpretation of the carcasses.

One of the earliest reports regards the carcass of a sea animal with a long neck washed ashore at Stronsay Island in the Orkneys, Scotland. Eyewitnesses described the creature as having 6 legs and a mane covering the body. It became known as the ‘Stronsay beast.’ Fortunately, some pieces of the animal were kept, including the skull and a number of vertebrae. In 1933, upon study of the vertebrae, it was clear that they were from a shark. The vertebrae are held at the Royal Museum of Scotland. A sketch by the eyewitness, illustrating the cranium, vertebrae and pelvic skeleton, also confirm that it was the remains of a shark.18

Many additional documented cases of plesiosaur-like creatures have received a lot of media attention, and apparently basking sharks account for over 90% of all such reported sea serpents.19 Some of the cases which have been positively identified as a shark, and most probably a basking shark are:5

    *

      in 1934 at the beach of Querverille, on the Channel coast of France;
    *

      in 1937 at a beach near Princetown, Cape Cod, USA;20
    *

      in 1941 on the Scottish shores of Hunda and Deepdale Holm;
    *

      in 1970 ashore at Scituate, Massachusetts, USA, and;
    *

      in 1977 at Nemura Hokkaido, Japan (see below).21

Other cases where the description fits that of a basking shark:21,22

    *

      in 1948 on Dunk Island, Queensland, Australia;
    *

      in 1953 at Girvan on the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, and;
    *

      in 1960 on the beach at Temma, Tasmania, Australia.


http://creation.com/live-plesiosaurs-weighing-the-evidence
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2011, 04:08:11 pm »

Basking Sharks

The basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus is only second in size to the whale shark. Individuals have been known to reach up to more than 13.7 meters (45 feet) long.23

The gill arches are very large, extending around the neck and almost meeting at the throat. The fifth pair of gill arches is just in front of the pectoral fins (Figure 2b). Basking sharks sometimes swim on the surface of the water with mouth wide open, filtering out plankton, or more often just sun themselves on the surface with the dorsal fins towering out of the water. They are also known to congregate in loose schools and to swim one behind the other, which could give the appearance of a ‘sea serpent.’

When the shark decays, the tissue around the gills breaks apart, so the gills and the lower jaw fall off. This leaves the spinal column and the cranium to resemble a long neck and a small head (Figure 2c). As the bottom of the tail fin has no spinal column, it also decays leaving the appearance of a long tail. Finally the skin sloughs away and the muscles fray out resulting in what resembles a hairy mane. Carcasses have a distinctive plesiosaur appearance, and have been termed ‘pseudoplesiosaurs.’24 The pair of claspers (copulatory appendages) of male sharks may give the appearance of an extra pair of limbs, like that reported for the ‘Stronsay beast’ find. However, when further decayed, they partly merge with the closely associated pelvic fins, making the fins appear larger (see Figure 2c).
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2011, 04:08:38 pm »

The Zuiyo-maru carcass

On April 25, 1977, a carcass was netted off the coast of New Zealand, about 30 miles east of Christchurch, by the Japanese trawler Zuiyo-maru.25 It weighed a hefty 4000 pounds and was 10 meters (33 feet) long. Michiko Yano, the assistant production manager aboard the Zuiyo-maru took five photographs of the carcass and some measurements, and removed forty-two pieces of **** fibre from one of the anterior fins (see Figures 3a, 3b and 3c).26

The fibres were washed to remove the putrid smell, treated with antiseptic solution containing 0.04% sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) for 12 hours, and allowed to air dry.27 A sketch of the carcass was later made ‘based solely on Yano’s imagination’28 after it had been thrown away, but it conflicted with Yano’s original measurements (see Figure 2d). The bone shown in the appendages was determined merely by kicking them and standing on them.28

Yano’s photographs and his misleading sketch were presented by the Taiyo Fishery at a press interview. Great media hype erupted about the find,

    ‘ … a few newspapers published very sensational stories … speculating its identity as a giant shark, plesiosaur, Nessie, or other monsters … Radio and television were no less enthusiastic … Every variety of speculations [sic], each quoting, in various ways, comments of scientists … ’25

In the Asahi Shimbun newspaper Professor Yoshinori Imaizumi of Japan’s National Science Museum was quoted as stating,

    ‘ … It’s a reptile, and the sketch looks very like a plesiosaur. This was a precious and important discovery for human beings. It seems to show that these animals are not extinct after all.’26
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