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Friday, 23 August 2013

More Comparisons of Longnecked SeaSerpent Models

The standard Heuvelmans model Longneck is above. However, on the internet you will find such alternatives as the one directly below, which seems to have been influenced by some conceptions representing the Loch Ness Monster as "Nessiteras Rhombopteryx"
  " Here are the categories of Sea-Serpents proposed by Heuvelmans, incorporating some more recent analyses by Loren Coleman, Patrick Huyghe, and Bruce Champagne. My illustrations are based on those of Heuvelmans:
"1.        Long-Necked or Megalotaria longicollis (“giant sea lion with a long neck”)—A 15- to 65-foot-long, plesiosaur-like creature with a long neck, several humps, and the ability to move in vertical undulations. The head has a distinctive horse-like or “cameloid” appearance, and hair and whiskers have been reported. Believed to be a long-necked, short-tailed sea lion. Seen worldwide, with 82 reported sightings." 
The head on this representation is way too small, but enlarging the head results in a decent depiction for the Hoy Island/Mackintosh Bell 1918 Sea serpent category and this is the one I was willing to allow to retain the name of Megalotaria because the basic concept and appearance for Heuvelmans' category is based on this type. 15 feet would be the normal adult size for the creature and not a minimum: a Scientific description exists for a 7 foot long pup and the biggest adult male should not be more than three times the length of the pup (Which Heuvelmans states himself in connection to the Hoy SS sighting. that would be just over 20 feet or a little under 7 meters)

Once again the given proportions for the 1918 Hoy SS are that the neck is about half the length of the body, about as long as the body is thick, and about a quarter as thick as it is long (Presumably near the base).

The reconstruction can be made to approximate a more typical Longneck if we move the illustrated portion ahead and allow a length of the neck is in the water and not showing because it is submerged. Several models for the Loch Ness Monster assume a shorter neck and estimates range from 1/4 of the whole length down to 1/6 or less: and Oudemans made the head and neck out as 1/5 of the length. these shorter estimates would all stem from observations of only part of the neck showing.

Dragging out the rear flipper as representing sightings that allege a tail does yield a real tail of appreciable size. Approximately 1/10 of Longneck reports at Loch Ness and at sea specify the tail

Below are Tim Morris' representations of the Longnecks as categorized by Heuvelmans and Bruce Champagne. The latter system contains two Long-necked subtypes, and both of them have tails.

Lord Geekington summarises the two Long-necked subtypes out of the Champagne system as follows:
Type 1: "Long-necked"

These are reports that, of course, are of long necked animals. Confusingly, other types have this characteristic (3, 4B), but presumably other characters took precedence. This type is somewhat comparable to the long-necked/merhorse/super-otter classification of Heuvelmans and the "waterhorse" category of Coleman and Huyghe. Unlike previous authors, it has been divided into two sub-types.

Type 1A:

This "long necked" is primarily distinguished by a head of the same or slightly smaller diameter than the neck. Type 1As are reported worldwide, but appear most in boreal climate zones. They aren't even limited to salt water and have apparently been sighted several kilometers inland in fresh water, possibly to breed. Champagne also suggests that this type is a pinniped and a relatively large one at 2.5-12 (9 avg) meters in reported length [=8.5 (!) to 40 feet long, 30 feet average. I am comfortable with the 30-40 foot usual adult size range.-DD]. Given peoples' tendency to exaggerate, I'd suggest that this type could fall within the mass range of pinnipeds [calculating the mass by given volume, it essentially is just about the same mass as an elephant seal-DD]. The proposition of a long necked and tailed pinniped raises a lot of questions. Pinniped necks actually aren't longer than a dog's ('cept Acrophoca see Darren of course [ERROR!Acrophoca's neck is NOT longer than a sea lion's]) and tend to be immensely thick to boot. Pinnipeds have very short tails, and [Heuvelmans, Costello and] the Coleman/Huyghe book suggested that reports of a long tail are due to the rear limbs. The superficial plesiosaur or elasmosaur-like body coupled with a pinniped-style flexible neck makes this type quite unique and would presumably indicate an unknown niche. The idea of a pinniped being fully adapted to a marine life and taking on a new form doesn't seem too outlandish, and at least this type resembles common sightings. The lack of resemblance to anything in the fossil record is still a major problem of course.[The obvious resemblance to Plesiosaurs suggests a different interpretation to Karl Shuker and to most observers, ie, that it actually IS a Plesiosaur. The supposed problem with the neck flexibility is more of a problem with Elasmosaurs in particular rather than all Plesiosaurs in general-DD]

Type 1B:

This "type" is only known from 5 sightings in the North Atlantic and is distinguished by a head larger in diameter than the neck. It is supposedly much larger (17 meters+/ over 55 feet, or the "Average length of 60 feet" given by Heuvelmans-DD]) than the 1A and displays more "primitive" characteristics and different behaviors (frequently associates with cetaceans, etc). Oh, these illustrations are ones that I did a while back, so you'll see I chose to portray it as a more robust "1A" type animal as opposed to another lineage of long-necked creature. Limbs were never observed and only inferred to exist by presumed relations. The proposed anatomy of this type is even stranger than the 1A, and I don't know what to think of a massive head on a long neck. Judging by the lack of sightings or apparently much detail, I'm suggesting that future analyses will probably just absorb these sightings into the "1A" or maybe "type 3" classification. Ah, to lump or to split, the eternal question. [I reviewed the cases of Longnecks associated with Cetaceans in an earlier blog, I saw no difference in head size from the common Longnecks and no differences from the more common Longneck sightings, period.-DD]
Below once again is the very useful comparison chart made by Tim Morris which contains the images excerpted above:

In a different matter,
While discussing the Marine Saurian of Heuvelmans with Jay Cooney, I mentioned that some of the "Many Humped" creatures could have been in that category since the "humps" were being produced by the wake and not a permanent feature of the anatomy. I then suggested that some of the Massachussets bay sea serpents (some of them were "Alligator-headed*) and Scandinavian "Super-otters" could have been the larger kind of Marine Sauran, the Whale-Eater, and that some reports with very large humps in a row could be such creatures stalking small pods of large whales. This would be why the Coleman/Huyghe Classic Sea Serpent resembles a "Marine Saurian" in design.

"Classic Sea Serpent: A quadrupedal, elongated animal with the appearance of many humps when swimming. Essentially a composite of the many humped, super otter, and super eels types."
In my statistical analysis of Sea Serpent reports (edition sent in to the SITU in 1980), I did make mention of the fact that suspected reports of zueglodonts. Mosasaurs and Giant eels tended to fall together statistically and were different to sort out from internal criteria.
(* footnote: Heuvelmans refers to a series of  "Alligator headed" Sea Serpent reports from the area of Nantucket in the 1960s as being "Typical": he has qualms about one of the reports stating it had a long neck and he assume that somehow a reported neck 2'6" long became reported as 26 feet long . This is the Noreen sighting. I had not noticed before but a head and neck length of 25 feet for the whale-eater Marine saurian is absolutely typical!  -In the Wake of the Sea Serpents, page 527)

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