Creature of the Month The Sinuous Sea-Serpent by Oberon Zell Ravenheart[end sections of article]
Fig. 27. Diagram: size perceived according to distance, by angles (author)
I have come to believe that long-necked Sea-Serpents are not mammals at all, nor plesiosaurs, nor even vertebrates. Despite his charming reconstruction of a long-necked seal, Heuvelmans’ silhouette drawings based on actual eyewitness descriptions do not exhibit the proportions of his model, nor do they support his pinniped hypothesis, any more than they resemble a plesiosaur; against which identification all the arguments in the previous paragraph also apply.
-Once again we have the same tired old (ignored) objection that an invertebrate animal needs some internal structure (skeleton)in order to be able to keep its shape when standing up out of the water or when travelling on land. The "Periscope" head and neck is an especial problem in this regard, an invertebrate creature has not enough muscular strength to keep such a structure bonelessly aloft. This author seems tothink that vagueness of description and missed details mean that those details are not there and have not been described by other witnesses. In this case we are talking about distinct rear limbs and tail sections, making an overall Plesiosaurian shape in the cleaer observations. And then there is the matter of the head. Ravenheart seems to imply that simply because some sightings cannot make out the head very well the head must be actually featureless. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, there are a number of very exacting observations f the head for the Loch Ness Monster and the Great Sea-serpent which are consistently and repeatedly described. The head is flattened on the top, making the head wider than it is thick. Since the neck is circular in section this means that the head is as thick through as the neck in profile (meaning no obvious visual differentiation in many sightings) but that the head is wider than the neck when seen from above and, since the mouth splits the head in two, the width of the mouth is wider than the width of the neck. The thickness of the whole head, mouth closed, is about half the length of the head and the width of the head is about 2/3 of the length. The eyes are about halfway along the top in profile with the nostrils immediately in front of them, the line of the mouth runs back behind the position of the eyes (some sightings miss this point) and the lower jaw is hinged on at the rear end of the skull. The whole length of the head is approximately 1/20 of the animal's entire length, and therefore it is not unreasonable the details and the features might not be so obvious as the rest of the animal. Oudemans, Heuvelmans, Gould and Dinsdale agree on these features but only Oudemans states these features specifically and statistically The description is a very good match for a Plesiosaur's skull: Heuvelmans specifies several of these features when discussing the "Merhorse" reports (as opposed to the "Juvenile Merhorse" reports which correspond to the seal category as mentioned above: the "Adult" features additional include that the head is very flat on top and wide fro the front, looking like a snake's head.) Gould also states this shape of the head in detail in connection to Captain Haslefoot's sighting of The Loch Ness Monster in the 1930s, and also the part about the very wide mouth that goes with the wide flat head. Since we have these very specific and regularly repeated statements, the featureless head (and the main reason for the giant slug theory) falls by the wayside. DD .
Just for the record, Here are the composites from the statistics again, I shall probably do a more in-depth discussion of these later.