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Cadborosaurus willsi



Sorry to bring up the topic again, cause I know most aren't interested,
but just wanted to add some additional info to add to Darren's excellent
response on the subject.

Darren quoted Neden Harbour, when , in fact, it is Naden Harbour. However,
knowing that Darren composes nearly all his posts from memory and using
few references, I certainly wouldn't criticize!:)

I have Bousfield and LeBlond's book on the subject: Cadborosaurus:
Survivor from the Deep. It's quite a good book, but, like Darren, I don't 
think that their conclusions about Cadborosaurus being a reptile are
correct. I am inclined to favor a mammal, if, of course, Cadborosaurus
indeed exists. I personally think there's a good chance it does, and I
think that the Naden Harbour carcass photos are very interesting and
compelling. But enough of my opinion, Darren was wondering why exactly
LeBlond and Bousfield favored a reptilian identity for Caddy.

First, they conclude, like Darren said, that because of Caddy's
morphology, it would be impractical for it to be warm-blooded, because of
it's high surface area to body volume. To maintain homeothermy, they say,
Caddy would have to engage in near continous feeding and enormous
conversion of food energy to make up for the lost heat to the cold B.C.
waters (which is never higher than 20 centigrade, and that temperature is
only possible under perfect conditions during the summer of long periods
of sun and light winds - usually the temperature is more like below 15
centigrades and during the winter drops below 10 centigrade). They figure
that Caddy would still be capable of high bursts of speed to catch food
and escape danger. 

The main thing that made LeBlond and Bousfield to conclude on a reptilian
identity was a chart comparing it to other large marine animals looking at
primitive and advanced traits. The categories included Caddy, bony fishes,
amphibians, modern reptiles, plesiosaurs, primitve mammals, pinnipeds, and
cetaceans. I won't go into the other details of the chart (the traits
included body size, body shape, thermal physiol.,head and neck etc.), but
just say that the following were the "scores"(the higher, the more
advanced according to the chart):

Caddy ~9
Bony fishes 3
Amphibians 4
Modern reptiles 5
Plesiosaurs ~8
Primitive mammals 7
Pinnipeds 11
Cetacea 13

The chart appears to work, but I'm still wary about how well such a chart
can be utilized to describe a species' affinity to a certain class! Does
anyone know if these types of charts are used regularly?I don't think they
are, cause the reference for the idea for the chart (a
"primitve-vs-advanced" chart) was a paper by Bousfield and another
researcher on _amphipods_!I don't think it is very viable to use a system
of classification designed originally for amphipods on a vertebrate.

Finally, Bousfield and LeBlond  think that the hair reported on Caddy is
not so much a mammalian trait but rather _might_ be gill-like, gas
exchanging organs. They think this may explain why Caddy is so rarely seen
- it is capable of staying underwater for very long periods thanks to
these secondary respiration devices (the authors also suggest that it may
be able to breathe through its skin like sea snakes are thought to do,
according to some researchers). While this type of organ is found in at
least one animal I'm aware of - the hairy frog (Trichobatrachus robustus)
of western Africa, which gets its name form the males of the species who
have blood-rich skin filaments on the sides of its abdomen to get oxygen
from the water during mating season (its poorly developed lungs aren't
strong enough to meet the challenge alone) - I have my doubts about its
use in Caddy. I don't know how efficient it could be in such a large
animal, however.

Maybe someone who's taken some animal physiology in uiniversity could add
some more knowledgeable comments...?

Anyway, I think I've said enough. I still think Caddy is more likely to be
a mammal. Fact is, there are no marine reptiles that have ever lived in
such cold waters. Leatherback turtles and Galapagos marine lizards are
exceptions, but the former is a massive bulk capable of retaining heat and
the latter must return to land to sunbathe and regain energy (and it is a
passive, slow, marine algae eater).

Just as a last note, if anyone cares, those soul-demons that Owen Burnham
is writing about are almost without a doubt bats.At least, that's my
conclusions on the matter(taking into account similar stories in western
Africa of terrifying demons that turned out to be hammer-headed bats).

ciao!

ben...