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News: Giant crater may lie under Antarctic ice
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In the Mouth of Madness
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« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2011, 03:54:44 pm »

-- The pelvic (hind) fins were said by some of the crewmen to be similar in size to the pectoral fins, as in a plesiosaur (Obata and Tomoda 1978, p 49). However, this cannot be confirmed, since no measurements or photos were taken of the pelvic fins. Yano and others may have mistaken the large, draping and dislocated dorsal fin for one of the other fins (Hasegawa and Uyeno, (1978, p 62). Or, the combination of the pelvic fins and rear genital claspers created the illusion of a sizable rear fin (Hasegawa and Uyeno 1978, p 63). This might explain Yano's comment that the rear fins had an unusual appearance like that of a seal (Koster 1977). It is also possible that the pectoral fins decayed somewhat more than the pelvic fins, reducing their size disparity. Yano himself acknowledged that to the best of this recollection the front fins were somewhat larger than the rear (Koster 1977). His sketch suggests otherwise, but it is known to contain a number of other inaccuracies, such as bones in the fins that were not really seen. Noting such problems, Yasuda and Taki (1978) considered the sketch inherently unreliable, and Obata and Tomoda (1978) suggest it was influenced by bias. Indeed, by the time Yano drew the sketch (two months after the netting) the plesiosaur idea had become popular, and Yano had become something of a celebrity over it (Koster 1977).

-- Some readers may be wondering if the location of the find was a problem for the basking shark identification (as hinted at by Yasuda and Taki 1978). However, basking sharks are known from many temperate parts of the world, including the waters around New Zealand (Burton and Burton 1969; Springer and Gold 1989; Francis 1997). The carcass was thought to have died in an area somewhat south of the capture site, well within the known range of basking sharks (Nasu 1978).
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