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Re: Sea reptile is biggest on record



Colin McHenry writes:
 > >  > > Can anyone speculate if this find even outclasses the
 > >  > > several undescribed large pliosaur finds from the UK, which
 > >  > > the WWD series ran away pell-mell with on the Liopluridon
 > >  > > segment "fantasy" segment?
 > >  >
 > >  > Sure.  S. sikanniensis is way bigger than the upper range of
 > >  > body sizes that can be speculated for UK pliosaur material
 > >  > ;-).
 > >
 > > Even this lower jaw?
 > >    http://www.flickr.com/photos/markwitton/242640895/
 > 
 > If that's the Oxford jaw, then it's probably closer to 3m (from
 > what I remember of Leslie Noe's description a while back).

(Let's just take a moment to think about that, folks.  All done?  OK,
back to you regularly scheduled message.)

 > But before you get too excited, the jaw on a ~10m Kronosaurus is
 > well over 2 metres long - at least 2.25m.  Assuming geometric
 > simultude, you get just over 13m for a pliosaur with a 3m mandible.

Huh.  I'd not appreciated the Kronosaurus jaws got that big.

I measured the reconstruction at
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7264856.stm
and found that they have the lower jaw about 3.3 times as long as the
humerus.  If you're right that the humerus of the new specimen is 1m
long, then that suggests its jaw is 10% bigger than the Oxford jaw.

So I'll accept "bigger", but not "way bigger" :-)

 > Liopleurodon / Pliosaurus do have a slightly different body
 > proportion to Kronosaurus - the neck in Krono is slightly shorter,
 > the skull probably slightly larger - but you're still a *long* way
 > from 23m.

Eh?  Where did 23m come from?  (Oh ...  WWD, right?)

 > I think Dan Chure is right - we should try to avoid the temptation
 > to 'monsterise' these things, and as you know from those wierd big
 > things that you have an affection for, you need to be really
 > carefully about extrapolating body sizes from scrappy material.

For sure.  :-)

Speaking of which, for anyone who's not already read it:
        
http://svpow.wordpress.com/2007/11/18/xenoposeidon-week-day-4-the-question-everyone-is-asking-how-big-was-it/

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
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