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AN ASIDE - THE PLESIOSAUR CARCASS
> Your show claimed that a plesiosaur might have been dredged up recently,
> although some people said it was just a shark. COME ON!! Just look at
> its bones!!!!! Don't flash some difficult-to-perceive photograph of a
> water-logged carcass! There need be no uncertainty at all as to whether
> it was a plesiosaur. Was it or wasn't it? That piece was so
> irresponsible as to be completely inexcusable by any standards of
> responsible journalism. It is incomprehensible that you could have put
> NBC's name behind such a story! (Norm King)
Forgive me everyone, but I couldn't let this pass without going on about it a
bit for those of you that don't know squat about it (I know I've said this all
before... but, well..)..
Sounds like it refers to the carcass dredged up by the Japanese trawler
Zaiyomaru off New Zealand in 1977. Good photos exist of this specimen, and the
crew took accurate measurements too, tissue samples were also clipped and
stored. Superficially the carcass resembled a plesiosaur, but the 'pseudo-
plesiosaur' condition is very common in decaying basking shark carcasses, being
well documented and well know with numerous examples in the literature (quite
a few of which have been initially identified as sea 'monsters'). There is
nothing in the photos of the Zaiyomaru carcass that precludes a shark identity
(despite suggestions of visible clavicles), and to clinch it the tissue samples
contain elasmobrin - characteristic of sharks.
There is therefore no doubt at all that this carcass was a shark. One problem
though, it was about 14 m long. Great whites reach 7 m, and the basking shark
about 9 (_Rhincodon_ doesn't go pseudoplesiosaur ASAIK). I won't throw all the
details in here, as this is a DINOSAUR LIST.
"Please don't put your life in then hands of a rock and roll band"