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PLESIOSAURUS SNAGGED IN JAPANESE FISHING NETS!

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Author Topic: PLESIOSAURUS SNAGGED IN JAPANESE FISHING NETS!  (Read 3021 times)
In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2011, 03:49:44 pm »

As mentioned, some scientists believed from the start that the carcass in question was probably a shark, based on their knowledge of basking shark decay, and similar "sea serpent" carcass incidents of the past. The basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus, is the second largest fish in the sea (surpassed only by the whale shark). It can grow to more than 30 feet in length, and specimens over 40 feet have been reported (Soule 1981; Freedman 1985; Dingerkus 1985). However, this gentle giant is harmless to humans. It feeds by filtering plankton (mostly tiny crustaceans) through its large gill rakers as it swims lazily just under the water's surface with huge mouth agape. When the basking shark decays, the jaws and loosely attached gill arches often fall away first, leaving the appearance of a long neck and small head (see Figure 4). All or part of the tail (especially the lower half which lacks vertebral support) and/or the dorsal fin may also slough away before the better supported pectoral and pelvic fins, creating a form that superficially resembles a plesiosaur (Huevelmans 1968; Burton & Burton 1969; Cohen 1982; Bright 1989 Ellis 1989). Some have called such remains "pseudoplesiosaurs" (Cohen 1982), although one might also dub them "plesiosharks"


http://www.gma.org/fogm/Cetorhinus_maximus.htm
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