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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Sanderson SeaSerpents

In a discussion about the "Long necked seal" illustration posted at Jay Cooley's Bizzare Zoology site, artist Thomas Finlay made the remark that the Longnecked Sea Serpent was a creature that Cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson had advocated as covering the larger part of Sea Serpent reports up through the 1940s ("Don't Scoff at Sea Monsters" reproduced following) Because the matter had come up I thought it was necessary to review what Sanderson had actually said.
It is to be emphasized that the drawing made by Finlay bears no resemblance to Sanderson's composite, which was by far the most Plesiosaurian looking Sea-serpent recontruction .

I slightly modified Sanderson's version of the 1918 Mackintosh Bell/Hoy Island sighting in the versions above because Sanderson had included a tail that was most certainly NOT a part of the original sighting. Just for purposes of comparison, I also included a scale with this creature as compared with a moose (the more usual "Water Horse" as reported all over Eurasia and North America)
The Figure 1 is reproduced below, I did not include Sanderson's redrawing of Oudemans' Sea Serpent model because I considered it to be inaccurate and misleading

I am going to enter in a copy of the following document but parts of the text were corrupted and did not transcribe well. In the case of the reports, they are all stock reports easily obtainable in most of the standard sources, but the gist of this is basically that Sanderson is going by Oudeman's model for the Great Sea Serpent but saying that the creature had a shorter tail. Basically, Sanderson was not offering a new theory but only offering a few modifications to the previous pronouncements by AC Oudemans in the only major systematic review monograph published to that date that had made an attempt to make a scientific description, .
Sanderson, Ivan T.
Saturday Evening Post
Publication Type:
SEA monsters; ZOOLOGISTS; MYTHICAL animals; SEA lions; DEEP-sea animals; MARINE mammals
The article presents the accounts of those who witnessed sea serpents that were described by zoologists as animal species. Some of these incidents included the detection of sea monster in Norway known as kraken which belonged to the squid family, the existence of huge creatures in South Africa known as Latimeria which was later claimed by zoologist as a type of fish considered to be extinct, and the identification of sea lions.
MasterFILE Premier

Dont Scoff at Sea Monsters

Saturday Evening Post, Ivan T Sanderson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Few subjects have aroused more controversy—sonnc of it wonderfully acrimonious — than the possible existence of sea nionsters. Tbere is little concrete evidence lliat they livie but Ivan Sanderson has reviewed the findings and concludes that we had better not write lhem olTon that occount. reuder» huve mel Mr. Sanderson before. A recognized zoologist, he has contributed several arliclos to ihie magazine, tbe last being THE RIDDLE OF THE MAMMOTHS, which appeared December 7, 1946, He is the author of three widely read books on zoology and exploration, all of which were illustrated by himself. — The Editors

. Many reliable witnessess, includng preachers and scientists, have seen {incredible?} creatures rising from the deep. Analyzing a fascinating mystery, an expert presents evidenee that will make you wonder if this fuble is not a fantastic fact. hundreds of years, if not since the dawn of history, people have believed that there are great, unknown animals in tbe sea. These used to be called sea serpents, but are nowadays more popularly referred to as sea monsters. What is more, it can be sbown that a report of such a beast has come from some part of the world almost every year since 1800. In some years there have heen as many as balí a dozen, and they increase rather than diminish Ln number, so that the hody of eo-called evidence has now reached a point where even the august Encyclopaedia Britannica states: "When, however, all these and similar possihilities have been explored, tbere still remain a number of independent and apparently credible stories which are not satisfactorily explained." Such a statement challenges UB to inquire what these credihle stories might be tuid, on inquiry, they tum out to be amazing. One cannot hut feel a certain element of doubt and a not inconsiderahle sense of shock wben, upon setting out to exaniine tbese "credihle stories," we read a detailed statement made by a Capt. F. W. Dean, of tbe Royal Navy, on an incident that occurred on the moming of May 22, 1917, aboard the armed merchant cniiser, the Hilary, off Iceland, while maintaining the blockade between the Scottish coast and the Arctic iceline during World War I. This statement, duly signed and witnessed, may be read in any one of several books and articles on the subject. It states tbat at nine o'clock on a clear sunny moming, the officer of the watch reported to Captain Dean that tbere was sometbing moving off the starboard quarter. Upon examination through glasses, this was seen to be an animal, and tbe ship was turned toward it, passiog within thirty yards. Tbe whole crew observed it closely and estimated it to be at least sixty feet long and to have a long, slender neck, at least twenty feet in length, which it could tum in a semicircle. Its bead looked like that of a seal; it was slick and shiny, and bad a tall, triangular, flabby dorsal fin tbat turned over like "the tip of a terrier's ear wben cocked." Tbey used it as a target for antisubmarine guimery practice and ñnally "sank" it. Captain Dean, in answer to a very specific questionnaire, later stated tbat this creature could not have been any kind of wbaie or sbark; nor could it have been a giant ribbonfish— a species that is believed to grow to twenty feet in length. These are tbe usual explanations of such creatures. Thia case presents tbe most typical features o£ almost all reports of tbe supposed unknown sea animal—tbe seal-like head, the serpentine neck and the great size. These are important points, as we shall see presently, for they fly directly in the face of the most convincing explanations put forward by trained zoologists. If we dig back into the distant past of almost any race or people, we seldom fail to stumble upon some evidence of serpent worship, with its attendant mysteries and borrors so productive of rigid taboo and later of superstition and myth. Continental peoples beheved in monstrous snakes beyond their borders, wbile maritime peoples envisaged tbem in tbe sea. Thus it was only natural that tales of fabulous serpents, often with the bonifie attributes of dragons, dwelling in the deeps and occasionally coming up to pluck benigbted marinera from cranlty boats, grew up along most seaboards. About the sixteenth century, however, the precepts of modem science, founded on observation of fact and deduction therefrom, brought forth, among other things, tbe first real attempts to describe the animal life of the world. These early writings produced a quota of quite fabulouB nonsense and hearsay. Among the latter were descriptions of great sea serpents which took their places in seriously intended treatises on zoology as recognized animal species. They were described as being immense, scaly reptiles of prodigious dimensions that enveloped whole ships. Supported thus by the early fumblings of science, the ancient belief in tbe great sea serpent became still further fixed in tbe popular fancy. At the same time, however, it waa also instilled into scientific tbought, but for quite contrary reasons. These reasons only became apparent two centuries later, and were aa follows: As the faurfa of the woild was catalogued, it became obvious to Berious students of natural history, and subsequently to tbe public at large, tbat the old accounts of fabulous, lOOO-foot, marine serpents were but figments of our ancestral imagination. A gigantic reaction of wbolesale skepticism set in, which has risen like a tide until today, and which shows no signs of abating. Nor can tbe vahdity of this outlook be serioiisly questioned, for with airplanes and modem shipping crisscrossing every sea on tbe glohe almost daily, it is manifest tbat no such monatrouB reptileB can be. Thus science, not unreasonably, adopted the attitude that not only was the great sea serpent a fable hut also that any re- port of a large unknown animal in tbe sea, especially if described as snakelike, was either a hoax, a delusion, a lie or a case of mistaken identity. At the same time tbe public—tbat is, all persons otber tban zoologists, wbo might or might not know tbe difference between a whale, a seal, a shark and a ribbonfish—had only the mytb of tbe great sea serpent to fall back upon wben and if tbey saw something unknown to them in tbe sea. Thus we find tbat up till tbe middle of tbe nineteenth century nearly all reports start off witb tbe statement: "I saw a strange marine animal, that I believe to be a serpent"—vide, all affidavits collected around 1817 by the Linnaean Society, of Boston, from eyewitnesses to the famous unknown animal's visit to Gloucester harbor during that year. Skeptics, believers and ordinary folk who try to preserve an open mind on tbis most enigmatical subject must therefore beware of the ancient and evil influence of tbis term "sea serpent" when weighing the evidence of any report on the subject of an as yet unknown animal of the sea. It must be clearly understood, therefore, that the "credible stories" of which the Encyclopaedia Britannica speaks are in no case concerned with "sea serpents" as such, Sucb reports as warrant serious consideration by zoologists concern simply any marme animal—u.jally of considerable length but apparently never of greater bulk than tbe blue whale—tbat is Btated to exist, hut wbich has not, as yet, fallen, either dead or alive, into the hands of any competent scientist or museum curator. Whether any Bucb animals have ever been seen or not, and if so, whether they represent only a single type or several is another matter, and one which we will now proceed to examine. Now, as one wbo was brougbt up on tbe sea, has lived on it for montbs on end, and has spent a great deal of time sailing, steaming or flying over its surface, hut who has never seen nor ever expects to see an unknown sea monster, I must admit to baving taeen profoundly sbaken hy what I have found to be recorded on this subject. Tbis surprise, moreover, is caused not so mucb hy the 200-odd reports of eyewitnesses, some of wbich might conceivably be accepted as valid, nor even by tbe remarkable degree of concurrence among tbem—althougb tbey come from all over tbe world and are made by people wbo have never heard of any other sucb reports—but more especially by two other facts whicb show tbat tbe skeptics may any day be reduced to naught. The firet of these is the now indubitably established fact that tbe once-fabled kraken, whicb was accepted at by everybody as a figment of Norwegian fishermen's imagination, is a real animal and quite common. It haa turned out to be a tremendous squid, an animal of tbe same order of sbellfisb as tbe octopus, witb a body weigbing, on occasion, aa mucb as one and a balf tons, twenty feet in length and with tentacles up to thirty-five feet long. Tbe most disturbing aspect, to my mind, ahout thia complete collapse of aU disbelief in the kraken is, however, tbe fact that even before a certain Professor Verrill, by producing tbe hody, convinced tbe scientific world that it really existed, pieces of tbe same animal had been lying ahout in eeveral important museums for yearn. Furtber, kraken bodies bad been used by tbe Grand Bankfl fiahing fleet aa cod bait for generations! Tbe second disturbing disclosure, wbicb demonstrate » even more forcibly tbat negative evidence is bighly dangerous in zoological prognostication, came to light in 1938. In tbat year a nine-foot fish, now named Latimeria, wbich was trawled from shallow coastal waters off South Africa in an ordinary commerciat catcb, proved to be of a type wbich bad confidently been considered hy all scientists to have heen extinct, along with aU its relatives, for 55,000,000 years—in fact, since wbat is known to geologists as tbe Cretaceous Period. In tbe face of such "facts"—not just "credible stories," mind you—bow can we state witb any confidence tbat anything witbin reasonable timita of size and specific gravity may not exist in tbe sea? Tbis is a question tbat I am not prepared to answer, and I cannot see how anybody can do so, even the well-known icbl tiyologUt who stated in print not so long ago that "there are no sea serpents. The trouble is that too many people see things and then do not know how to describe what they see." There are serpents that live by tbe millions all over tbe Indian Ocean and in the seas around tbe East Indies. They are small poisonous snakes of many species, but witb laterally compressed tails, and they are not well represented in museum collections. Ttie trouble from our point of view is indeed thnt "too many peopte see tbings" such as the fifty-five sworn witnesses to tbe "monster" of Locb Ness in Scotland, Captain Dean and bis officers on ttie Hilary, find the numerous others wbo come later. A further troubte, moreover, is tbat a scientific journal of such unquestionahle standing as tbe Proceedings of the Zoological Society, of London... saw ñt to publisb the accounts of two trained zoologists named E. G. B. Meade-Waldo and M. J. Nicoll, who therein claim in no uncertain terms that they do "know bow to describe wbat tbey see." Tbey affirm, forsooth, that they watched for ten minutes, at 100 yards' distance tbrough field glasses, a small-headed, long-necked mammal, witb a soft frill on its back two feet high and six feet long. Further, its neck stuck seven to eigbt feet out of the water and was "ahout the thickness of a slight man's body." Tbis, they say, they saw at 10:15 A.M. on December 7, 1905, from the yacht Valballa off. Parahiha on the coast of Brazil. It is, therefore, perhaps unwise to state categorically tbat anytbing which could exist does not exist. Tbe okapi, for instance, an animal tbe size of a large borse, did not tum up Ln the Congo until 1900, and it ÍB certainly improbable enough to bebold. On tbe other band, tbere is tbe insurmountable fact that the people most likely to have encountered unknown sea animals and beat fitted to recognize them—tbe whalers—have never in 100 years even reported one. Add to tbis tbe fact that no piece of one has ever certainly been found and the whole business begins to look odd, if not even fisby. Nonetbetess. the volume of reports, invariably witnessed and usually notarized, that is in existence is little short, of astonishing wben critically examined. Let us compare tbe descriptions of hut a few wbo bave claimed to have seen such unknown sea animals, but in doing this let us also bear in mind two facts. First, tbat it was during the middle part of tbe nineteenth century that tbe existence of fossil skeletons of the extinct [Plesiosaurs],lon^-tK'i'ki'il, HTniill-lu'iiilcd miirino diiiiiMinir. |il(HJiiirim. wilh ÍIH four flip- ¡«•ix mill lii]n'riin;, l>nrn'l-nlni[i('(l body, \\rvt hi'i'iiim' widi'ly liiiuwn. Secondly, noli' (lull Ilii- p'l'porlH from I,ho iniflrllu of llu' niiii'lci'iiih ci'nlury until tlie pri'Honl (iiiy liiivi' lnH-n inatlo by per- HIIHH iif hij^hiT oiliiciil ion who were liki'ly lo lidvc wen (lniwiii};H of such n'coMHiriicU'd )>k-HtoM)urH.

In fact, the rL'jil or iinaf^inod appearance of the unknown animal of the seas seems to change both radically and rather abruptly after 1848. Ill thiw ycjir perhaps the most celebrated caae of (ill bunit upon a bigbly skeptical world Ibat bad been lulled into complacency by half a century during which roiwrlB, tbougb numerous, were so often either patently ridiculous or subsequently exposed ae plnin hoiixes. On October 4, 1848, Her Britannic Majeaty'B corvette Daedalus arrived nt Plymouth. England, from tbe East Indies, Capt. Peter M'Quahae commnndinfj. A week later, tbe London Times carried a somewhat flamboyant story beaded NAVAL INTELLIGENCE. and stating that the Daedalus had. when in passage hetween tbe Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena, sighted a vast sea animal with a long neck, traveling at fifteen miles an bour. Here the matter might bave rested as just another newspaper boax, but, possibly because of the paper concerned, tbe Admiralty figuratively raised its collective eyebrows so abruptly tbat they caused an oflicial minute to be dispatcbed tbat: very day to tbe commander in cbief at Plymoutb, instructing bim to investigate tbe veracity of Captain M'Quhae'a statement. Tbis prompt action resulted in an equally prompt rpply from tbe captain. His report stated, in most nautical and official terms, tbat at five o'clock on tbe sixth of August, in latitude twenty degrees, forty-four minutes S. and longitude nine degrees, twenty-two minute.s E., sometbing "very unusual" was seen by bimself. tbe officer of the watcb, a Mr. William Barrett, the quarter master, tbe boatswain's mate and the man at the wheel. It passed so close to the ship on a steady course that Captain M'Quhae aaid that "had it been a man of my acquaintance, I should have easily recognized his features." Sixty feet of the animal showed above water, it had a bead like a snake, carried constantly four feet above the water on a long, thin neck. Tbere was a sort of mane on this neck. This report caused tbe most tremendous rumpus, not only in tbe Britisb press but tbrougbout a large part of tbe world. In fact, the only people wbo seem to have kept, tbeir heads were the Lords Commissionere of the Admiralty, wbo. after reading its contents, seem to bave filed it and Baid not a word. Appeal WUH finally made to tbe great Sir Richard Owen, tben probably the best-known European naturalist and paleontologist, who took it upon himself to blaHt tbe whole report, not on the grouiidH (but it was a pure hoax, but on the; much more subtle tb(-'me that Captain M'Quahe and his officers, not being trained zoologists. were incapable of recognizing any living thing in the sea. Had he rested his case tbere. little harm might have resulted, for his name commanded tbe greatest respect, but, being a somewhat peppery old gentlemiin, IK' muni nrvdH put forward an t'X|>lniinliori of whnl. thoy hnd neon. Woixf' still, bo pounc:ed oti tbe capliiin'H Hliit.t'moiit. thnt, it "had a bond lilt« a Hnnkn" anrl wont, on to fltatc c(il.üg(iri(!iilly thdl, Hucb ii thinR did not fxÍM(.. In thiH ho wnH, an wo bnvo Heon nliovo, douhtlc'HH correct., bul. bo had, nonclheleHH, fallen into the trap unwittingly laid for us by our Herponiffîiiriiifi ancestors, for in r stupidly denied the existence of any unknown marine monster. Captain M'romtiinodlhrougluni( dimTi-ollylM'lowtlipBurfnctv Tlii>huni]>H ci>nHl,nn(.ly roHO in orderly procession, one after the other, behind the head, but they always till sank togethor!
Sometimes the head alone, like a curved periscope of enormous dimensions, careered about the sound, causing a "bow wave" and an audible rushing noise. Then, in Then, in 1877, a quite horrid report was submittod to i\w British Admiralty hy Comdr. H. L. Peanwn, R. N., of thu royal yachi Osborne. This stated thiU when the yacht—which hnd sail and paddles—was olT tbe nor(h coast of Sicily, homeward bound, three officers nnd the commander liimself Imd seen two appnrently connected apparitions of immense pro|portions and unaccountable appenrance. To condense the somewhat lengthy report, he it said that tbeir attention was ftrat drawn to a row of irregular fins sticking out of the calm sea in a perfect line mid proceeding as one. The largest fin waa some SL\ feet tall. As the yacht approached, these sank and in their stead there rose out of tbo sea the forepart of a gigantic animal. The head was seal-shaped and about six feet in diameter, the neck slender and long enough to allow tbe animal io throw its head far hack out of tbe water from time to time. Tbe neck joined a vast forehody, fifteen to twenty feet broad at the aboulders, and two fifteen-foot paddles, wbich flailed right out of the water with a semirevolving motion, propelled the beast. The visible part of the animal was fifty feet long and smooth, like a seal. Ï. .1. t llHi Na yonrn later, a corlain Capt. Klo, of lbo S.S. Umfuli, of Lmi., produced uneven more rt'm.irkubl., ropnrt. Hi..((or adil. ho »IHO »ul.mi((e,| u .Iniwing which ÍH both compotoiK jinci (iÍH( ui bingly convincinf,'. H. slidwH 11 ploHinHimruHlilto 1)P(IH( proccodirig M Hpood uvor tho avn. Captain Cringle OIÍH nt ñ.M) v.M. on DüciMiibor 1, 18MH, in latitude twenty-one degrees, forty minutes N., longitude Bovciid'oii degrees, thirty minutes W., wliile on hi« way to the Cape of Good Hope. The head and neck of tlK- iiniiniil wore fifteen feet long. It was traveling at an extraordinary speed, apparently with great singleness of purpose, and the body, which had three distinct humps and was much larger in girth than the neck, was visible all the time. Ii had a smooth skin and toothed jaws. The Captain put about and chased the animal till dark. It was seen by several of the crew and was entered in the log. The Valhalla incident, mentioned before, occurred in 1905, and that of the Hilary in 1917, and then came a quite different account in 1919 from a Scottish civil servant named J. Macintosh Bell, who had taken a vacation on the island of Hoy in the Orkneys, off the northem tip of Scotland. Mr. Bell spent his time there with two local fisbermen, and on the day of his arrival was told by them that a large unknown animal had been seen almost every day around those parts. The first day he also saw it. This animal was allegedly some [twelve to sixteen] feet in total length [NOT counting the rear flippers] and the [head and] neck alone was six or seven feet long. The body was ovoid and terminated behind by two large flippers. There was another pair of flippers by the ahoulders, while the neck was [elongated] and [Illegible]. I d o kiuiw f.lml. llii'HD iHiopIo iiro extremely HiilicI nnd ri'lialilo, JUHI IIH, curiously i'nou^;li, iiro niosl. people who purport (i> liiivo Hi'i'ii Iho cnifiiiiii. It ia surely VL-ry slriuific Ihnt IIK; English, Scots, Norveigianns, Au.i(.niHiinM, and particuInrly I IK- Newfoundlanders and the New ZeaIanders. all of whom have an accepted reputation for skepticism, conservâtism and solid honesty, are yet the very ones—and practically the only ones—who have made this claim. Further, they are, with one exception, seafaring folk, even if well educated— n point that is made much of by the believers in strange sea beasts. Since 1919 also tbere have occurred several incidents that are hard to explain. Of these, the best known is unquestionably the famous I.och Ness monster, of Scotland, Since the reports of this affair, which extended over many months, are in the files oí almost every newspaper and since two lengthy treatises have been written on the subject, we need not repeat them at length. Suffice it to say that there is no doubt that some large animal cruised about this twenty-three-mile-long inland lake for more than a year, showing itself in a tentative and shy manner to hundreds of witnesses, many of whom made sworn statements to the fact. These statements include all the detail» that will have become irksomely repetitious to any who have waded through Doctor Oudemans' tome or who have read the other array of literature on the subject—lines of humps peeping out of the water, paddles, a long neck and small head, a large wake traveling about at speed, and masses of churned-up water. So well authenticated and protracted were these manifestations that all the leading British papers and international cable services kept permanent correspondents at the lakeside for weeks. The humps, wakes and chums were even photographed. This case reached a crescendo on January 5, 1934, when a young veterinary student named Arthur Grant declared that, while motorcycling along the side of the lake at 1:30 A.M., he had seen the animal on shore- His description states: "It had a long neck with eel-like head and large, oval-shaped eyes just on top of its small head. The body was very hefty, and I distinctly saw two front flippers. There were two other flippers which seemed to be webbed behind, and there was a tail which I estimated to he five or six feet long. The curious thing about the tail was it did not, as far as I could Bee, come to a point, but was rounded off. The total length of the creature would be fifteen to twenty feet. It looked like a hybrid—something between a plesiosaurus and the seal tribe." Now, this description raises the very potent question as to why Arthur' Grant, if he wanted to perpetrate a hoax about a sea serpent or sea monster, should say that be had seen it. on land. This, in turn, leads to the first conclusion: Why anybody indulge in all this bunkum fit iiny timi.>, in view of the ridicule that they may expect. to have heaped upon them? If the reports of the animal or animals are examined — both old and recent, explicable on other grounds or not, and rrimi all parts of the world it must be admitted that there is an extraordinary degree of concurrence among them. Time and time again the same physical features and the same behavior are ascribed to the benHt.H. Further, there is no evidence to show that Ho-ciiiled wiCnesHCH Lo an appearance ill AuHtrnIi« hiul ovor heard of incidents in the South Atlantic, nor thfit those were known to Scottish fishermen or civil servants. As for the New Englanders, of whom hundreds said they saw such beasts for months on end in 1817-1819, about Gloucester, it. cannot be believed that they bad then all read tbe fabulous sixteenth-century works on the sea serpent, and certainly none of them had ever heard of a plesiosaurus. Tben, again, bow many strange beasts like Latimeria may not have been físhed out of the sea and either thrown back because they had no commercial value or been boiled down because they bad? Yet it seems that nearly every case of a strange animal remnant washed ashore turns out to have a perfectly logical explanation—that is, it proves to belong to some known form. I have, however, found an instance where there was some doubt as to what tbe creature was. A thirty-foot, much decomposed string of vertebrae, with a skull and four paddlelike appendages attached, was found on the beach of Henry Island, British Columbia, in November, 1914, and on this scientists disagreed. Doctor Clemens, of the government biological station at Nanaimo, affirmed that it was a basking sbark—as is so often the case with such jetsam—while officials of the Provincial Museum at Vancouver said it was the remains of the last Steller's sea cow—a large marine mammal related to the manatee of tropical rivers and seas—which was thought to have become extinct in 1854. No sufficient nmotint nf ovirlonct' i"i(b('r for or ngnniHl thi» oxiHdmw of one or more unknown mn iniMualH of lt(r^> itiKo can IH» given \\\ nu nrtirk' of thi« coinniiKH. ' Shinitd, however, wo H(;w with the Encyclopedia Britainnica and say "there still remain a number of independent and apparently credible reports that are not satisfactorily explained", what do the reports that are not otherwise explicable indicate? That» there is to a substantial agreement among them. The creature may vary from twenty to 275[!] feet in length. It has a long and slender neck and long, tapering tail, a small bead and one or two pairs of paddles. It seems to be smooth. which is to say, scale-less or sleek-haired. liko a seal, and it may have whiskers. Now, these characters are mammalian rather than reptilian and, taken together with the only report from "trained zoologists"—those on the Valhalla, [one of which] also asserted that what they saw was a mammal [The other one thought it was a reptile]—would seem to make the idea that the creature or creatures are plesiosaurs unnecessary.[I must interject here that Sanderson has just made the extraordinary claim that a creature in the shape of a Plesiosaur is more likely to be a mammal on the basis of reports which say it looks like a Plesiosaur, the hair and whiskers are almost never reported and not any evidence as regards the majority of reports: and that the following statement that this "would seem to make the idea that such creatures were Plesiosaurs unnecessary" has no justification to be included whatsoever] However, it might be pointed out that the survival of dinosaurs is by no means impossible, not only on the lines laid down by Latimeria but for the simple reason that millions have survived—for example the crocodiles.

Even Doctor Oudemans' imaginary construction, which looks exactly like an attenuated plesiosaur, is not an impossible form for a mammal to take. In fact, it is really odd that none has done so until now, for thís is an convenient shape' for a marine creature that must pursue swift, finny food. A lJi nil wi.uld HL'om to be 11 Hilly rudder, but f.hoii almost every report of the fnijimji N;i(.(ik8 of liiiH or frills, wbicb would act as a stabilizer. There is, therefore, really no reason why such a mammal could not exist. This, of course, pronipin the question an to which group of animals it would prove to be related to, if it were eventually captured. Doctor Oudemans has been over all this speculation in great detail, and I must, admit, that, given the only feasible types of marine mammals to choose from—whales, seal« and manatees, with the extinct, whalelike beasts known an Zeuglodonts—he was not too unreasonable in selecting the seals. Many reports say the head of the unknown is seal-like, and seals have four flippers, which resembles Mr. Grant's description of the Loch Ness monster. All we need, in fact, is one or more species of huge seal with long necks and tails, and the enigma would be solved. Yet, I repeat, we have not got one, and in the meantime we had perhaps better take our cue from the Encyclopaedia Britannica and admit merely that "there still remain a number of independent and apparently credible stories which are not satisfactorily explained." THE END

1 comment:

  1. I should also add that Sanderson did NOT consider the "Manes" reported on such creatures to be composed of HAIR, he specifically states his belief that the mane is composed of cutaneous fibers, and Heuvelmans quotes his opinion in his discussion of the "Merhorse" category. Sanderson did not separate the Merhorse and the Longneck as different categories and he even referred to one of the creatures on his Figure 1 (above) as being similar to Heuvelmans' Merhorse


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