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Re: Living dinosaurs?
In a message dated 8/9/00 11:38:53 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< The name of the African "dinosaur" is Mokele-Mbembe.
The problem with "living"dinosaurs is that if they still live, where are
their fossils through Cenozoic?
Although I'm not a sceptical person (perhaps living dinosaurs exist...), I
think these legends became more popular when many "living fossils" were
discovered like okapi, Limulus, Latimeria, pigmy hippos (now they're
included in fossil genus Hexaprotodon), etc. So, the idea that dinosaurs and
other pre-historic beast survived in Amazonia, Africa ou Southeastern Asia
became more "plausible". >>
Not really. Except for Latimeria, which is a special case, [deep oceans,
y'know], all those mentioned above have fossil records going all the way up
to recent times. Limulus, for example has a substantial fossil record and
until the last couple of years
[check out yesterdays NY Times science section], were very common indeed.
When we're talking about large land animals, it's possible to find something
which is very close to something common in the pleistocene which has managed
to hang on in some oasis for the last few thousand years, but sixty-five
If there were any large monsters out there, they'd have been found. There was
some bruhaha about a "prehistoric" elephant living in Nepal called Raja Gag.
It was quite real, all right, it was found right away. Had bigfoot or
Mokele-Mbembe been real THEY would have been found right away, too.
If there is something out there in the darkest Amazon or the Darien gap in
Panama, it might be a ground sloth, which while highly doubtful would be
cool. But a "brontosaurus?" No way in hell.