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Jurassic Marine Graveyard Yields 'Monster' Fossil 78

M00NIE writes "A 150 million year old giant fish-like reptile has been unearthed on an Arctic island off Norway, along with many other top marine predators. The find is 'one of the most important new sites for marine reptiles to have been discovered in the last several decades.'" From the article: "'One of them was this gigantic monster, with vertebrae the size of dinner plates and teeth the size of cucumbers,' Joern Hurum, an assistant professor at the University of Oslo, told Reuters on Thursday. 'We believe the skeleton is intact and that it's about 10 meters (33 feet) long,' he told Reuters of the pliosaur, a type of plesiosaur with a short neck and massive skull. The team dubbed the specimen 'The Monster.'"
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Jurassic Marine Graveyard Yields 'Monster' Fossil

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  • by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <semi_famous@yaho[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @05:23AM (#16346511) Homepage Journal
    Hurum reckoned the reptiles had not all died at the same time in some Jurassic-era cataclysm but had died over thousands of years in the same area, then become preserved in what was apparently a deep layer of black mud on the seabed.


    Interesting, a sort of elephant graveyard for sea monsters.

    Of course, the scary part will be when Kim Jong Il sets off North Korea's nuclear tests, waking up the big brother of one of these things. Then it attacks Tokyo.

    People are flipping on the news, thinking they somehow got a monster movie instead, but it's on every channel. Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer are fighting over who gets the first interview with it, but then they get scooped by Deborah Norville and Inside Edition. Millions tune in, hoping to see Deb get chomped by a giant prehistoric monster... and they're not disappointed.

    Simultaneous Farking, Digging, and Slashdotting cause the clip to shoot to #1 on YouTube. Someone puts up a fake MySpace page for the monster. Within 24 hours it has 896,327 MySpace friends, a garish background, and all of the 86 "dancing monster" animated .gifs that have started circulating around.

    Wannabe BotNet masters start the SeaMonsterAV.32 virus, which is an e-mail promising never-before-seen footage of the Sea Monster. 3 million people are infected, and the "Get a SeaMonster Powerful Penis" spams flood out by the billions...

    Sometimes, when your imagination wants to take you for a ride, just say no.

    - Greg
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Clazzy ( 958719 )
      Remember kids, say no to drugs!
    • Godzilla (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Servo ( 9177 ) <dstringf@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @09:44AM (#16348023) Journal
      Actually, Godzilla didn't attack Tokyo in a direct response to the nukes. The nuclear fallout caused the fish population to dwindle to the point that Godzilla had nothing else to eat, so it began eating humans.
      • For those who don't know (generations?), Gojira was not invented to "make a monster movie". The makers were reflecting the nuke-victim mentality of the time and how nuclear weapons were monsters in and of themselves. Gojira was the theatrica/film representation of guilt, fear, desire to eradicate nukes, and more. At points it was (IIRC) either government or self-censored, and nowadays the uncensored or original versions can be found.

        It was (probably) a bold and strong thing to come out in that day and in su
      • by cno3 ( 197688 )
        You're saying that his scenario is feasable then?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bigsimes ( 737788 )
      I hope the monster brings some batteries when he is awoken by kim jong. I've been looking for a seamonster battery for ages. My computers clock no longer keeps the right time (or date!) and I can't find one anywhere. A computer guy told me I needed one of these to fix the problem.
    • by avasol ( 904335 )
      Dude, two puffs - then pass. You should know this by now!
    • Sometimes, when your imagination wants to take you for a ride, just say no.

      But that's exactly what you just did, and it was hilarious.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Skull smells like petrol on second page of article! Bloody oil companies are involved!
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @06:44AM (#16346841) Journal
    Just give a day or two. The Discovery Institute is studying the new evidence and is working hard on how to mangle it to fit the Intelligent Design Theory. There is no evidence to suggest the Great Overintelligent Designer, has not killed these monsters so that humans created His image would not be killed. Since we dont identify the G.O.D. explicitly it is not a religious theory masquerading as science and it needs equal time in science classes.
    • by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @07:07AM (#16346981)

      Sea monsters ARE in the Bible and every ancient form of literature. It's called Leviathan. Nobody needs to "fit" anything.

      1 "Can you pull in the leviathan [a] with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? 2 Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? 3 Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words? 4 Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life? 5 Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? 6 Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! 9 Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering. 10 No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me? 11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me. 12 "I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form. 13 Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle? 14 Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth? 15 His back has [b] rows of shields tightly sealed together; 16 each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. 17 They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. 18 His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn. 19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. 20 Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. 21 His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. 22 Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him. 23 The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable. 24 His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone. 25 When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing. 26 The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin. 27 Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood. 28 Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him. 29 A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance. 30 His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge. 31 He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment. 32 Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair. 33 Nothing on earth is his equal-- a creature without fear. 34 He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud."
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by advance512 ( 730411 )
        The word leviathan means sea whale in modern hebrew. I am pretty sure it has always meant this.

        Even other interpretations of the word refer to crocodiles or a giant shark, never a dinosaur.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          A minor quibble: ichthyosaurs [wikipedia.org], plesiosaurs [wikipedia.org], and mosasaurs [wikipedia.org] are giant marine reptiles, not dinosaurs [wikipedia.org]. Dinosaurs are exclusively land-dwelling.

          That being said, it's obvious the Biblical passages are unlikely to refer to any of these because if they did, then these creatures lived into human times and the bones of such creatures would be found in younger sediments almost up to the present day, rather than deep in Earth history. They'd be a little hard to miss, given how large and distinctive they are.
        • sea whale (Score:2, Funny)

          by edxwelch ( 600979 )
          "The word leviathan means sea whale in modern hebrew"
          What other types of whale are there? I can't imagine what a "land whale" would look like.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Yendys ( 729283 )
          Uh, was the bible written in modern hebrew??? Word meanings change over time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by theodicey ( 662941 )
        Paleontologists will be fascinated to know that their fossil giant marine reptiles had breath weapons. (But not as surprised as marine biologists, since the proper translation is "whale".)

        19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. 20 Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. 21 His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.

        I'm sure they'll be able to confirm this amazing prediction within hours once they put their minds to it. The Bibl

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "His back has [b] rows of shields tightly sealed together"

        As far as I know, plesiosaurs or ichthyosaurs don't have dermal scutes (i.e. boney plates in their skin) on their back. Thanks for playing.

        It's possible this passage is referring to a crocodile. It would make more sense.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Actually it's proof that the Nephillim were doing genetic research using stem cells. We all know this is why God caused the flood to wipe out all life on earth to get ride of all the dinosaurs and other abomniations that the Nephillim made in the name of science. So it's quite obvious that global warming is being caused by stem cell research and gene splicing. Gotta go. Still working on a boat out back and it's looking cloudy.
  • Surely these are more whale like then fish like?
    • Surely these are more whale like then fish like?

      That depends on how you use the word likeness. The simmilar shape between whales and the Pliosaur is probably a result of somewhat simmilar living conditions. Still, one is a reptile and the other is a mammal, and as far as I know, biologicaly(fell free to correct me on this, I'm no biologist)reptiles are closer to fish, than what mammals are.
      • The line of relations amongst vertebrates goes something like this: fish -> amphibians -> reptiles -> birds & mammals; so yes, you're right, and IANAB either.
  • Photos (Score:5, Informative)

    by edxwelch ( 600979 ) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @07:26AM (#16347083)
    Here is an artical that includes some nice photos:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,441160, 00.html [spiegel.de]
  • teeth the size of cucumbers. I see bad analogy guy's hand in this submission.
    • I read in another artical that they were the size of bananas. They really need to standardise on which vegitables to compair monster teeth size.
    • teeth the size of cucumbers. I see bad analogy guy's hand in this submission.
      I think that would have been more like "teeth the size of piston rods/shock absorbers".
  • Calling Svalbard "an arctic island off Norway" is like calling Hawaii "a tropical island off New Zeeland". Except that the Svalbard archipelago is a LOT bigger than Hawaii, isn't owned by a single country, and even has its own top level domain name (.sj).

    Regards,
    --
    *Art
    • by Zaitor ( 946692 )
      Uhm, say what?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard [wikipedia.org]

      From Wiki
      By the terms of the international diplomacy recognized Norwegian sovereignty. Norway took over administration of Svalbard in 1925. However, under the terms of this unique treaty, citizens of various other countries have rights to exploit mineral deposits and other natural resources "on a footing of absolute equality".
    • by Terje Mathisen ( 128806 ) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @05:38PM (#16351161)
      Svalbard, including Spitzbergen which is the largest island, is recognized by UN as a Norwegian territory.

      It does exist in a sort of legal limbo though, in that any country which signs the Svalbard treaty can go in and look for natural resources. Russia and its Soviet precursor have had a fairly large city (Barentsburg) there for decades, supporting a coal mine which is now running out.

      The chief authority on Svalbard is the office of 'Sysselmannen', which is located in the main Norwegian settlement, Longyearbyen.

      A few hours south (by snowmobile) of Longyearbyen is the site of the Svea mine, which is sitting on a very rich coal seam, it is currently one of the most productive (per employee) mines in the world.

      Svalbard also contains the big international research station at Ny Ålesund, which is operated by the Kings Bay Company.
      http://www.kingsbay.no/ [kingsbay.no]

      Visiting Svalbard in March a couple of years ago was one of my most memorable trips ever:

      http://confluence.org/confluence.php?visitid=8138 [confluence.org]

      Terje
    • .sj is "allocated but not used" (wikipedia), they use .no....and "Svalbard consists of a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean; ranging from 76 to 81 North, and 10 to 35 East, it forms the northernmost part of Norway and the northernmost lands of Europe" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard. If you look at a map, "off Norway" really is a decent description of its location.
  • Some cucumbers are bigger than others, but I suppose it's all in how you use it.

    Alternatively, she had a very nice set of dinner plates.
  • Just to rub in how boring animals are today, nytimes.com informs us of evidence of an ancient, giant camel: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/08/world/middleeast /08camel.html [nytimes.com]

    It's almost too much to bear! I want my big animals back, now!

  • Am I the only one who thinks a skeleton 10 meters in length does not constitute a "giant" monster? I mean, isn't this even a bit on the smallish size for "giant sea monsters"? A sperm whale, for example, can easily grow twice as long as that.

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