October 10, 2011
Giant Kraken Lair Found In Nevada
Mount Holyoke College paleontologist Mark McMenamin said on Monday a dig-site at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada contains evidence of a new sea creature that preyed on 45-foot-long ichthyosaurs.
McMenamin reported his findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of American in Minneapolis.
He said when he arrived at the state park he was struck by the strange the remaining fossils were arranged.
“It became very clear that something very odd was going on there,” McMenamin said in a press release. “It was a very odd configuration of bones.”
He said the different degrees of etching on the bones suggested the icthyosaurs were not killed and buried at the same time and that it looked as if the bones had been purposefully rearranged.
McMenamin said that the modern octopus is also known for its intelligent manipulation of bones.
“I think that these things were captured by the kraken and taken to the midden and the cephalopod would take them apart," he said in a press release.
He said some of the bones in the fossil bed were arranged in linear patterns with a geometric regularity. The kraken arranged the vertebral discs in double line patterns, with individual pieces nesting in a fitted fashion as if they were a puzzle.
McMenamin also said the arranged vertebrae of the ichthyosaurs resemble the pattern of sucker discs on a cephalopod tentacle, which each vertebra strongly resembling a coleoid sucker.
The attacks also show that more ribs were broken in the ichthyosaurs fossils and the necks of the ancient creatures seem to be twisted.
“It was either drowning them or breaking their necks," McMenamin said in a press release.
He said that because octopuses are mostly soft-bodies and do not fossilize well that only their beaks could be able to be found, but the chances of this being preserved are extremely low.
Image Caption: Photo shows shonisaur vertebral disks arranged in curious linear patters with almost geometric regularity. The arranged vertebrae resemble the pattern of sucker discs on a cephalopod tentacle, with each vertebra strongly resembling a coleoid sucker. (Used with permission of Mark McMenamin.)
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