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Potentially Unbelievable Discovery: Did a sea monster make an artwork… out of bones?

tonmo

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#1
I had trouble loading this the first time -- got an error, but refreshing the page loaded the story; you may need to do the same (sent to me by a friend):

Did a sea monster make an artwork… out of bones?

We *just* had a great discussion about the octopus mind and denning behaviors at TONMOCON IV, so this is a timely find.
 

OB

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#3
So improbable it becomes interesting again, if only from a viewpoint of psychology?
 

octobot

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#4
Lair of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Discovered - LiveScience.com

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[SIZE=-2]earthtimes.org[/SIZE]
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Lair of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Discovered
[SIZE=-1]LiveScience.com[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]The kraken, which would've been nearly 100 feet (30 meters) long, or twice the size of the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis, likely drowned or broke the necks of the ichthyosaurs before dragging the corpses to its lair, akin to an octopus's midden, ...[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Did a sea monster make an artwork… out of bones?[SIZE=-1]World Science[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Triassic 'Kraken' may have created self-portrait[SIZE=-1]TG Daily[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Giant kraken lair discovered[SIZE=-1]Science Codex[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]earthtimes.org[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]all 10 news articles[/SIZE]
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tonmo

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#5
Well the "self-portrait" aspect does seem a bit over-the-top fanciful, but I can understand a scenario where a ceph would arrange bones of an ichthyosaur (not necessarily one s/he killed) outside its den, as octopuses typically do. Looking forward to the report...
 

tonmo

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#7
seabed crop circles :goofysca:
 

robyn

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#9
Here's an explanation I think is somewhat more plausible - both octopus suckers and these particular ichthyosaur bones conform to optimal space-utilisation of alternating offset rows. The resemblance between them is due this alone.

Vertebral disks land flat-side down under agitation, particularly if they have spiny processes. So the flat-side up thing is no real mystery, as long something occurred to jiggle the bones about (currents or tides, for example). Now, as for the alternating arrangement, that is the tightest stacking possible for round things. So all one would need to reproduce this pattern is agitation (not unfeasible in the ocean...) and some edge structure against which the bones could be packed (again, given it's a sea-floor, hardly improbable).

I'd love it to be the Kracken too, but sadly I think some better evidence than this is needed for its existence.
 

The_Damped

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#10
I really hope that poor guy doesn't get up in front of a lot of intelligent people and say that those vertebrae are self portraits. Although, maybe he does have an argument, it was a lazy cephalopod who hated changing to look like its environment, so it changed its environment to look like it. Maybe if paleontology doesn't pan out for him he could write a children's book about the importance of not changing yourself to look like others. Kidding aside, I think he is really probably more interested in the idea of a "Kraken" being what killed all these. The self portrait bit is probably just an obsessive aside.

At least that's what I thought before reading http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/facultyprofiles/ma_mcmenamin.html

Anyway, I'M more interested in the idea of a giant octopus like creature having killed them. Would they? Drowning a shark and a reptilian are two different things. Would they do it to eat them? to eliminate a competitor? kill or be killed? What evidence is there of modern cephs performing similar behavior in the wild?
 

mucktopus

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#11
I agree with Robyn.

Plus, I'm yet to see any octopus arrange middens. I've frequently seen octopuses carry middens away from the den entrance and dump it, but never in the same place twice, and never placing with the arms as would be needed here (they carry it under the web and dump it). Sure, sometimes they gather whatever chunky thing they can find (can inadvertently include middens but usually is pebbles, etc) and bring it to the den entrance, sometimes they may be choosy about pebble size (though as far as I know this hasn't been tested), and sometimes it takes a while to make sure the pile protecting the entrance doesn't fall over, but at least for what I've seen in the wild den maintenance is limited to pushing/pulling a few things around until they form a little pile. Among the animal kingdom this type of behavior is not particularly special.
 

octobot

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#13
Lair of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Possibly Discovered - Fox News

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[SIZE=-2]Science a Gogo[/SIZE]
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Lair of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Possibly Discovered
[SIZE=-1]Fox News[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]The kraken, which would've been nearly 100 feet (30 meters) long, or twice the size of the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis, likely drowned or broke the necks of the ichthyosaurs before dragging the corpses to its lair, akin to an octopus's midden, ...[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Mega-octopus may topple ichthyosaur from top of Triassic food chain[SIZE=-1]Science a Gogo[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Intelligent Kraken Sea Monster Purposefully Arranged Ichthyosaurs Bones in Its ...[SIZE=-1]International Business Times[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Did a sea monster make an artwork… out of bones?[SIZE=-1]World Science[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]The Epoch Times -Huffington Post[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]all 34 news articles[/SIZE]
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octobot

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#14
The Giant, Prehistoric Squid That Ate Common Sense - Wired News

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The Giant, Prehistoric Squid That Ate Common Sense
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[SIZE=-1]A big one, in fact, and today that problem takes the form of a giant, prehistoric squid with tentacles so formidable that it has sucked the brains right out of staff writers' heads. While making the rounds among a few California museums late last month ...[/SIZE]
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cuttlegirl

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#15
This professor was hired my last year at Mount Holyoke. He is a think-outside-the-box kind of scientist. He wouldn't be publishing this if he didn't have very good evidence.
 

Terri

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#17
Nice article Kevin...so there's no evidence at all of a colossal squid being present? Hypothesis reached only on the basis of the (odd?) layout of the fossils, maybe I missed something? (wouldn't be the first time).
 

DWhatley

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#18
Normally I would take Clem's point of view but I could never explain this as anything but she wanted an esthetic outside her new brood den (it was completely across the tank - at least 3 feet - close to where she initially thought about brooding). Moving across the stubstrate is one thing but watch how she sets it up at the end.

 

OB

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#19
I'm with Clem, on this one.
 

Architeuthoceras

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#20
Terri;182564 said:
...so there's no evidence at all of a colossal squid being present? Hypothesis reached only on the basis of the (odd?) layout of the fossils,.
There is a lot of evidence... How that evidence is interpreted as a Kraken midden and not just normal decay of a few large Icthyosaurs on the ocean floor remains to be seen. I would like to hope it's not just because of the bi-serial alignment of the vertebrae (see Robyns post). It's hard to get the full story from an abstract, I really hope they write a paper so we can see their interpretation and data (or someone who saw the presentation reports).

I saw the face of George Washington in a cloud the other day... I don't think it was really George. :sly:
 

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