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PLESIOSAURUS SNAGGED IN JAPANESE FISHING NETS!

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Author Topic: PLESIOSAURUS SNAGGED IN JAPANESE FISHING NETS!  (Read 2069 times)
In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2011, 03:54:11 pm »

- The photographs reportedly show the presence of reddish muscle under the white material, which Obata and Tomoda (1978, p49) suggest is compatible with a tetrapod (four legged animal). However, the presence of reddish muscle is also compatible with a shark. Sharks like other fish have both white and red muscle (Fowler 1997; King 1997; Sims 1997). The former predominates, but fish that swim slowly and steadily like basking sharks generally have more red muscle than other sharks (Tullis 1997). Some of the reddish color also could be due to blood residue.

-- The concerns of some authors about the "small head" or "long neck" (Koster 1977, Yasuda and Taki 1978) are eliminated once one understands the process of decay in basking sharks. Summarizing this process, Omura, Mochizuki, and Kamiya (1978, p 59) state, "...a disproportionately small skull and long, slender neck can be accounted for by the loss of the jaws and gill-arches in the course of decomposition of the carcass."

-- Obata and Tomoda (1978, p 48) also suggest that unlike sharks, in which the nares (nostrils) are situated in the lower surface of the skull, the carcass had holes that Yano called "probably nares" at the front end of the cranium. However, the rostrum or anterior most structure may have been missing, so that the nares could have been on the lower side and also the "front" of what remained of the skull, eliminating any inconsistency. Alternatively, what Yano thought to be nares could have been any of several other fenestral openings that exist in shark skulls, or new ones created during decay.
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