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Sunday, 8 December 2013

More Longneck Reconstruction Comparisons 2

Traditionally the Water Horse is an animal found near the water that looks like a horse. It looks pretty much EXACTLY like a horse but a little "Off" or "Deformed" and it can have such features as "Devilish" cloven hooves.

The Water Horse from Wikipedia
It is my contention that the legend of the Water Horse was merely and Naturalistically a description of the moose (or elk in Europe) in suppost of this I have shown clear illustrations  of moose or elk from Scotland n the 700s and in the 1700s. It is also my contention that the symbolic "Pictish Beast" also shows a moose. Later on as the elk got rarer the stories took on more of a mystic and mythological slant, but reports of the creature continued in tradition on into modern times. At present there are some parts of the world where elk are still called "water horse" and "water cow"
The Long-necked Plesiosaur is a different creature and has a different mythology, as a "water Dragon", but more especially as a "sea serpent." It might seem that there is too great of a difference between the two for there to be any confusion, but in fact, a big moose has a body that is nearly comparable in size to a moderate-sized Plesiosaur such as the reports describe: 
But it is because we have a tradition in Cryptozoology that conflates the two, many authors have created a composite category for Freshwater monsters that they call Water Horses. Below is the illustration from Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe's book The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep(2003) under the heading "Water Horse":
(The female is supposed to be above and the male below)
However, the sizes given are extracted from sightings at sea (and they admittedly include accounts where the wake was not distinguished from the creature making the wake and so the estimated length as given is really the length of the wake in such estimates. In freshwater accounts the creatures are makedly smaller and Peter Costello's In Search of Lake Monsters suggests that the estimated length sould be shortened to up to 20 feet long for females and up to 30 feet long for males: Roy Mackal in The Monsters of Loch Ness similarly downsizes the size estimates to comparable lengths. These estimates for the length can be commonly downsized to 15 to 20 feet long as given by some authors and as specified in several sightings, especially those seen on land. At that point, the size estimates are low enough to plausibly be comparable to the sizes for elk or moose. Hence the comparison below. More importantly, the specifications of the head are that it is precisely the size and shape of a moose's head, and with several features specific to moose anatomy that are not found in seals.
In the case of Jay Cooney's Water horse illustration at Bizarre Zoology, the equivalent of Colemans' model  is  the creature in the artwork posted below:
The skull of the animal featured has some freatures which are shared with the skulls of moose and NOT with seals, and these include complete bony eye sockets and long low nostrils  projecting in front of where the teeth are (The front part of both jaws would be broken off). Both features are completely different from seals and in fact they ARE features as specified in the reports. The eyes are supposed to be situated high up on the head with definite bony sockets projecting around them, and the nostrils are at the tip of the long and overhanging snout, with the nostrils being very large and round when they are open. Furthermore this is the type of Sea serpent snout that is stated to have whiskers on it: this is stated by Pontoppidian and carried forward by Oudemans, who repeats him
(The Great Sea Serpent 1892, pages 135 for Pontoppidian and 141 for Oudemans)
This is essential the same comparison for Coleman's Water Horse and the moose as repeated for Cooney's version (The artist is Thomas Finlay, who does excellent work, and in this case he is merely illustrating what he has been told to illustrate) 
Below some of the characteristically mooselike features of the reports are pointed out, and this includes the ears and nostrils of an ungulate-basically belonging to a land animal and not well adapted to life at sea. The hump on the back at shoulders and hips is indicated, the upper parts of the limbs are alsi indicated, and the rear edge of the rear "Flipper" has the contour of the moose's hind leg": the end of the flipper also resembles a cloven hoof (Costello said "3-pronged" but he definitely included reports of cloven hooves when he said that) The tail is even somewhat indicative of a moose's tail and the "Beard" is indicated as part of the moustache when in the reports (such as in the case of Ogopogo) the beard definitely means the bell at the moose's throat. Several reports also include moose antlers, but most often the initial antler spikes in velvet.

As regards the length of the neck, the reconstruction which Cooney has is nowhere near as long as the reports Heuvelmans says are specifically Longnecks  but instead the length of the neck is comparable to the Merhorse category, which he considered to be separate. See the comparisons above and below
The length of the Longnecks neck is its most outstanding characteristic and it is comparably long in the presumably male Longnecked "Merhorse" (In the illustration below the mane is recognized as a fleshy material and it is called a "fin") In these cases, when the neck is in a vertical aspect to the water, the body is NOT stretched out horizontally behind it but it is presumably held at some angle approaching vertical in the water. In such cases the degree of underwater drag of the creature holding it in place relative to the wave action at surface is also noted "As if it was dragging a sea-anchor"
I have recently left some remarks pertaining to these matters at Jay Cooney's blog:

The portions underwater are inferable from indications at the surface and for the most part these proportions are consistent with one another over the past 250 years or more, and at scattered locations the whole world over, in many reports made independently from one another

 In this case the proportions of the Cuba Sea Serpent are compared to the general composite model. The Cuba SS was seen briefly all out of the water at one time when it breached.
Umfuli SS, after Captain Cringle

And I had also remarked that the proportions of the Umfuli SS wre also about the normal proportions with the head+ neck and the trunk each being about 15 feet long (NB some reproductions of the Captain's drawing also indicate specifically Plesiosaurian features of the head)

Cooney's model for Longnecks + Merhorses is compared below to the sections from the Cuba SS sighting specifically. This does not indicate the limbs although the witness noted that the creature's anatomy indicated where the foreflippers and hindflippers would be situated. I consider the neck profile drawn by the Captain in this case to be very much exemplary as showing the features of all the best and most accurate descriptions, and the head neck and body as shown to be well streamlined .

Below once again is my general-overall reconstruction identikit for the Longnecked Sea Serpents or Water Dragons generally, and with the specific Water Horse (Moose) reports subtracted. This is the outcome of several local statistical surveys based on In The Lake of The Sea Serpents and In Search of Lake Monsters done in the 1970s and I consider this model to be in good agreement with the creature models proposed by Dinsdale and Sanderson, and somewhat less to Gould's and Mackal's  versions of the Loch Ness Monsters and in the general ball park of agreeing with Oudemans' and Heuvelmans' models with allowances. When you get to the point of comparing Oudemans' and Heuvelmans' reconstructed models there are some very obvious conflicts in the reconstructions which are not in agreement with the reports and must needs be accounted for. This is all summarized from earlier blog postings which have discussed the matter before.

The tail is seen when diving and is then described as being divided into three  parts the third "Lobe" being the actual tail itself, or possibly only two "Prongs" will be reported" Costello has reports in either category and the "Snollygaster" (Among others) is also said to have this three-lobed tail.
And, just for good measure, here is that Plesiosaur illustration again, shown to scale with the Scottish version of the Master-Otter for scale
(Presumably the same as Burton's Monster otter. Illustration by Tim Morris on Deviant Art)

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