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Live plesiosaurs: weighing the evidence

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Author Topic: Live plesiosaurs: weighing the evidence  (Read 3555 times)
In the Mouth of Madness
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Posts: 1970

« on: October 15, 2011, 04:04:27 pm »

Live plesiosaurs: weighing the evidence

by Dr Pierre Jerlström

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.

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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