Member of The Crypto Crew:

Please Also Visit our Sister Blog, Frontiers of Anthropology:

And the new group for trying out fictional projects (Includes Cryptofiction Projects):

And Kyle Germann's Blog

And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

Sunday, 16 March 2014

DALE DRINNON: Dale sent me this message this morning

I had an emergency mission to help set up an animal rescue sanctuary in the state of Missouri and we should be working on getting it set up over the next two weeks (Which overlaps the beginning of spring and we should be done before April Fool's Day)

Dale with Yeti (We have matching coat colors)
JON: It goes without saying that if there is anything that the rest of us can do to help, please ask. We will do what we can.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Irish Master Otter?

Strange Black Creature Photographed In Irish River System

Spotted with what may be a pike behind the home of Joanne White in the Cleenagh Lough, this creature looks fierce and set on getting it's prey.

Now known as the 'Cleenagh Creature', many are saying it's an otter, but otters typically have hair that slicks to it's body. Still others are saying it's a feral mink. Both of which are said to inhabit the Shannon river system....

Of course, there are still others who claim it's something they've never seen before.


Strange Black Creature Photographed In Irish River System 

Spotted with what may be a pike behind the home of Joanne White in the Cleenagh Lough, this creature looks fierce and set on getting it's prey. 

Now known as the 'Cleenagh Creature', many are saying it's an otter, but otters typically have hair that slicks to it's body. Still others are saying it's a feral mink. Both of which are said to inhabit the Shannon river system.

Of course, there are still others who claim it's something they've never seen before.

What say you Mulderite's?


Loch Ness Underwater Photos from Scott Mardis, additional

The Rines "Two Bodies" photo, which correspond to a sonar trace showing the presence of two large features (about 30 feet long) in the scanned field simultaneously. The longer projection or flipper is estimated as being 6 to 8 feet long and corresponds to the separate "Flipper" photos (1975)

In 1975, vertebrate paleontologist L.B. Halstead pointed out that the rhomboidal flippers seen in the Rines Loch Ness underwater photos from 1972 did not match the hydrofoil shape of then-current reconstructions of plesiosaur flipper shapes, based on skin outlines preserved around some plesiosaur flipper specimens (Hydrodrion brachypterygius and Seelyosaurus guillelmi-imperatoris). A May 2013 Master’s thesis by vertebrate paleontologist Mark Cruz DeBlois may question that assertion. Using hydrodynamic principles in combination with advanced mathematical formulas, DeBlois has produced a predicted plesiosaur flipper shape for the front flippers of the plesiosaur Cryptocleidus eurymerus that is much closer to the rhomboidal shape of the Rines flippers, with a much larger trailing edge of flesh that extends beyond the flipper bones (see upper left, blue and red outlines). Read it for yourself at

 Traditional reconstructions of plesiosaur flipper morphology and plesiosaur flipper skin impressions: (clockwise from top left) the front and rear flippers of Hydrodrion brachypterygius, the right rear flipper of the "Collard plesiosaur" from the UK, a typical model of the traditional proposed plesiosaur flipper morphology and sketches of the skin impressions surrounding the flippers of the plesiosaurs Seelyosaurus guillelmi-imperatoris and Hydrodrion brachypterygius.

DeBlois' hypothesized front flipper of Hydrodrion brachypterygius overlayed on the second Rines "flipper" image.

In 1975 the biggest breakthrough for Dr. Rines and his team came when a set of close-up underwater photographs were taken which when released in December of that year caused a worldwide sensation. The pictures which show the head and body of one of the creatures in remarkable detail, were taken with the Edgerton strobe camera during the expedition the previous June.For several months the pictures were examined in secret in zoological centres in Britain, America, Canada and Europe. It was planned to release them in early December at a scientific symposium in Edinburgh to be attended by zoologists from all over the world under the chairmanship of the famous British naturalist and painter Sir Peter Scott. News of the pictures leaked out at the end of November, before the study of them was complete and caused such excitement that the sponsors of the symposium, who included the prestigious Royal Society, felt it would be impossible to conduct a proper scientific discussion in such an atmosphere. Consequently the symposium, at which the whole Loch Ness controversy would have been debated at length and hopefully resolved, had to be cancelled. In its place a meeting was held in the Grand Committee Room at the Houses of Parliament at the instigation of David James, the MP who had led the Investigation Bureau. Before a large audience of members of both houses of Government, scientists and journalists, the Academy team presented the results of their research, including the new underwater photographs, together with supporting statements from eminent zoologists who had been examining the material. Dr. George Zug, the Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians at the renowned Smithsonian Institution in Washington said in his personal statement : "I believe these data indicate the presence of large animals in Loch Ness, but are insufficient to indentify them ".

The nearly universal reaction is that the photographs show something which looks very much like a long-necked Plesiosaur. The photo sequence is shown here in two alternate orientations.

Monday, 10 March 2014

A Couple of Zemis from Cuba

Zemis are kinds of religious paraphenalia used by the Arawak Indians. In Africa I suppose they would be called Fetishes. These examples are from the Tainos of Cuba.

In this case I found images of two of them that look to be representations of Unknown animals.
The one below is a vomit stick to put down a persons throat and make them vomit, for purification rituals. In this cae it looks to me like the big fishing bat that is the American Ahool, also represented in sculptures of Northern South America and in Mesoamerica as Kamazotz (Camazotz)

This would represent the bat with the wings spread (center) and also seated on the ground with the wings folded. The creature is supposed to be the size of a baby or a small child. The wingspan is as big as the wingspan of a large eagle or even bigger than that, 10-12 feet across or so.
 (I added the line between the legs for clarity as well as taking it apart to show the wings better)

Below is a kind of a sea monster:

And I am just wondering if this is not another portrayal of the Caribbean Elephant seal. The creature is called "Water Horse" in nearby Central America and there are sightings of sea monsters near to Cuba that are probably actually Elephant seals, and some that possibly came ashore at Cuba (Particularly in the 1940s) It is not an alligator and it has mammalian teeth (not Reptillian) with distinctive canines at the corners of its jaws. It is also not a whale because of those teeth.

The Crypto Crew Chupacabras Update

The Crypto Crew posted a link to a new attack supposedly by the "Chupacabras". Here is the link:

And here is the original article:

Mexico: Chupacabra Attack Kills 97 sheep

chupacabra attacks

 La Paz| Almost 100 sheeps have been found dead and strangely mutilated on a ranch in the mexican provine of California Alta, in what seems to be the latest chupacabra attack in the region.  All animals were discovered dead, each with three puncture wounds in the chest area and completely drained of blood.
The chupacabra ( translated literally as “goat sucker”) is rumored to be a nocturnal carnivorous creature that inhabits parts of the Americas, with the first sightings reported in Puerto Rico. No specimens have ever been captured or killed, but hundreds of eyewitnesses have reported encountering the creature.
The name comes from the animal’s reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livesock, especially goats, throught a process similar to vampiric bats or blood leeches. Thousands of attacks have been reported over the last decades from the southern United States to Venezuela, leaving tens of thousands of farm animals dead.
Over the last two years, alleged chupacabra attacks have multiplied in Mexico, with over 12 000 anamals dead in a similar fashion. The increase in the number of attack is most likely linked to the increased invasiveness of human activity inside the creatures natural habitat.

- See more at:

It will be interesting to see if there are any associated sightings pof the Devil Bats (or Chupabats)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Giant Bird-eating Spiders

Some funny fellow added this photo on a Facebook page and said it was a typical Australian spider. This elicited several responses, one of which immediately noticed that it was a photoshopped job and that the grains under the human hand were smaller than the ones under the spider. OK that is acceptable. Then there were two other lines with multiple comments each, one saying "No that's actually a South American bird-eating spider"and then again "Yes that is an Australian bird-eating spider and some are bigger than that"

Some selected comments follow (there were over a thousand responses in all):

Jean Maree Brook: We had one in our house just slightly smaller then this one,big sac like that,Elijah,(my daughter),looked down and it was right next to her foot,then the next night it was in the loungeroom.And were in inner sydney,go figure..They seen to be getting bigger

Lana Stanbury: We have large one large one over here "the Avondale" spider comes bigger than a dinner plate had one in our house at St Mary's Bay. Very furry they are and harmless

Bente Buhr Bethnas: Eastern tarantula is the biggest birdeating spider in australia and can grow bigger than a mans hand so i dont think its fake .. ive seen another big spider at he home of one of my daughters friends and it was a blondie ... also called goliath .. it was still a teenanger and was bigger than my hand and he told us it would be around the size of a dinnerplate .. yak ..

Micah E Giantology This is not average size for any spider on earth today. There have been some 1/4 pound record spiders from the Amazon, with 11 inch leg spans, and a 12 to 13 inch span spider this size could very well exist, but this spider in this photo is a prop, or digitally enhanced.

[...So we can very well mark down that the photo is a fake...but at the same time there are witnesses  that are willing to swear that spiders can be a foot across or bigger (like the one in the photo) in both Astralia and in South America. This is confirmation of older rumours we had heard before, and they might not be true, but its possibly valuable to know that the rumours persist.-DD]

Loch Ness Monster caught on underwater camera?

Loch Ness Monster caught on underwater camera?

Posted Thursday, January 16, 2014

The uploader writes: "Loch Ness Monster possibly caught on underwater webcam. I took these snapshots on a Loch Ness Monster Underwater Webcam website around the year 2000. I saw a huge form pass in front of the camera and blocked out all view (everything went dark) so I took a snapshot and captured this 1st image. It looks like the fin or flipper of a large creature. I don't think it's just a fish really close to the camera because if you look at a couple of photos from the end of this you can see a small fish close to the camera and it looks very blurry and does not take up the whole screen. Also, there appears to be a ball of light on part of the 1st image which I assume is a light affixed to the camera. If the image was right in front of the camera you would expect to see a big blob of light taking up the whole view but because there is a ball of light on part of the object makes me think that the object is at least several inches from the camera lens. If this is the case then the object would have to be several inches long. If it is close to a foot long then that lends credence to the assumption that the whole body of the creature should be close to 10 or 15 feet in length at least. The remaining photos are of the bottom of the lake (same location) but in a couple of them there is also a strange figure in view. I'll let you ponder what is in front of the camera. I'm not sure what it is but it could be the monster."

That 10 to 15 feet would not include the length of either the neck or the tail.-DD

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Tote-Up Review

The following is my assessment of some of the Cryptid categories as given in the basic standard Cryptozoology. * indicates a category I consider to be of interest and a potential new species not catalogued by science, and the categories I would strike from the list are also indicated.  To make it easier to read I have also colour-coded it and purple indicates the Cryptid categories, black background and red print indicates the ones I would drop out

Bernard Heuvelmans Sea Serpents:

*Long Necked A 30-60-foot (9-18 m), long-necked, Plesiosaur-shaped Cosmopolitan animal.
*"Megalotaria" an uncatalogued Walrus-sized sea lion (as a separate spinoff category)  

Super Eels: A group of large and possibly unrelated eel-shaped fishes. 
Partially based on the "Leptocephalus giganteus" larvae (Which includes two unrelated kinds also)
*"Megaloconger" the 30 foot long kind (as a separate spinoff category) 
*"Titanoconger" the 60-100 foot (18-30 m) long kind (as a separate spinoff category) 

*Marine Saurian: A 50–60-foot (15–18 m) sea crocodile,
 *Mosasaur (or Pliosaur) 60-100 foot (18-30m) long (as a separate spinoff category) 


Merhorse  A 60-100 foot (18-30 m), medium-necked, large-eyed, horse-headed pinniped. Maned and often has whiskers.   

Many-Humped  A 60–100-foot (18–30 m), medium-necked, long-bodied archaeocete. It has a series of humps or a crest on the spine like a sperm whale's

Super Otter A 65–100-foot (18–30 m), medium-necked, long-bodied archaeocete that resembles an otter. It moves in numerous vertical undulations

Many Finned  A 60–100-foot (18–30 m), short necked archeocete. It has a number of lateral projections that look like dorsal fins, but turned the incorrect way.

Yellow Belly: A very large, 100–200-foot (30–61 m) yellow-and-black-striped, tadpole-shaped creature. Dropped. (Could still count as a larger form of whale shark)

Father-of-all-the-turtles: A giant turtle. Dropped.
Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe (Additional Categories)

Mystery Cetacean: A category of uncatalogued whale species including
   *Unknown porpoises and dolphins
   *Double finned whales and dolphins,
   *Dorsal finned sperm whales,
   *Unknown beaked whales,
   *Unknown orca,
   *Walrus-tusked whales and others. 
Mystery Sirenian:
   *surviving Steller's sea cow
   *and possible African freshwater dugongs 
*Giant Beaver 
   *Giant Otter (as a separate spinoff category) 
*Mystery Monitor
   *Mystery Iguana (as a separate spinoff category)
*Mystery Sharks

Mystery Manta (Possibly known species)
Mystery stingrays (as a separate spinoff category) (Possibly known species) 

 Mystery Salamander (Known species)
Big Fishes (Sturgeons, alligator gars, pikes, catfishes, paddlefish and others)  (Known species)     

Giant Octopus, Octopus giganteus or Otoctopus giganteus:   (VOID)
*Northern Colossal Squid (as a separate spinoff category) (Possibly a new species)


 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. The authors suggest Basilosaurus as a candidate (Standing Wave)

Waterhorse: A large pinniped, similar to the long necked + merhorse. Both of their eyes are rather small. They are noteworthy for being behind both salt and fresh water sightings.
(Maned, horned, with prominent ears and beards, one prominent shoulder hump and occasional cloven hoofprints when they come ashore=Swimming Moose)

Cetacean Centipede (the Many-finned SS)  (Row of Dolphins or small whales)

Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe (Abominable Snowmen Categories)

1. *Neo Giant (Reverts to possible Gigantopithecus after Krantz)
    *Subgiant (Tropical Africa)> (Possible robust Australopithecus sp)
2. True Giant (VOID) (Reverts to possible Gigantopithecus after Krantz,ie, included in Neo Giants)

3. Marked Hominid (a Homo sapiens variety) (Known species)
4. Neanderthaloid (a Homo sapiens variety) (Known species)
5. Erectus Hominid (a Homo sapiens variety) (Known species)
6. Proto Pygmy (a Homo sapiens variety) (Known species)

7. Unknown Pongid (Generally Orangutan varieties) (Known species)

8. Giant Monkey
    (>*Isnachi in the New World) 
9. Merbeing >
     (Chupacabras) (VOID) +
    *?Freshwater Monkeys after Tyler Stone
    *?Merfolk (Basically allowed to stand)
Ivan T Sanderson Abominable Snowmen: Legend come to Life

 Of Sanderson's four categories, only the *Neo-Giants remain as an open category (as above), and in this category we follow Heuvelmans' example and defer to Grover Krantz.

Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track of Unknown Animals

4Nittaewo, the Lost People of Ceylon91
5Orang Pendek, the Ape-Man of Sumatra119
6The Not So Abominable Snowman (All possible Orangutans)143

7The Surrealist Dinosaur of New Guinea (Hoax)
                                                            > *Giant Monitors
*8The Incredible Australian Bunyips  (> Seals )
                                                             and > *Giant Monitors,
                                                              *Giant "Demon Ducks"
9The Queensland Marsupial Tiger251
*10The Moa, a Fossil that May Still Thrive
                                                  *Small Turkey-sized Moa
                                                  *Medium Emu-like Moa
                                                  *Large Moa like Dinornis
11Waitoreke, Impossible New Zealand Mammal (Probable imported otter)293

12The Patagonian Giant Sloth > * Equatorial Forest Ground sloths301
*13The Giant Anaconda (*Sucuriju Gigante)
 and Other Inland 'Sea-Serpents' (*Dormador or Black Boa)
14Apes in Green Hell (Possible Apes: Mono Rey
                                                     *And Mono Grande)

15The Mammoth of the Taiga (Possible Survival but Possibly Now Extinct)397

16Three Large Pygmies: the *Forest Rhinoceros (African Unicorn),
 the Water Elephant  (Forest elephant, known species)
and the Spotted Lion (Lions are a known species)
17The Nandi Bear, an East African Proteus (+Possible Unknown Brown Bear possibly involved, Brown bears are a known species)445
18Mngwa, the Strange One  (Possibly a giant Golden Cat in Mottled phase)495
*19The Little Hairy Men (*Gracile Australopithecus)503
*20The Dragon St George Did Not Kill (*Giant Monitor Lizard
                                                        *Unknown Robust Crocodile
                                                        *Unknown Giant Otter)
21Kongamato, the Last Flying Dragon  (Possible Freshwater Stingray)582

*22 *Vorompatra (>Lesser Elephant Bird),
*Tratratratra, (4 Possible Giant Lemur Survivals) etcetera

Friday, 7 March 2014

First Look At Caddy Via Scott Mardis

Scott Mardis:
Charles Eagle's eyewitness sketch of his "Cadborosaurus" from 1933, with a pronounced underbite. This resembles the alligator with an underbite in the photo. Note: it is believed that some plesiosaurs had teeth that protruded out like those of crocodilians.

Dale Drinnon:
The head of the creature as shown does have that distinctive wedge shape that some plesiosaurs had, highest at the back of the head and tapering toward the snout:

But it would seem to me that the vertical profile is exaggerated and the entire creature made to be too thick. This might be due to poor drawing but also could be an effect of the viewing conditions. Below are the skull and the reconstruction of Styxosaurus from the Oceans of Kansas website

cd95styx.jpg (22644 bytes)

And some scientists have suspected that the head of our surviving Plesiosaurs would have looked like this (They were classified together) This is speculative, however.
If the Caddy in question had a Plesiosaur's head, though, the opening in the back of the skull would be the Euryapsid skull openings, the eye sockets would be that other hump abut halfway along the length of the head. Mistaking the rear openings of the skull for eye sockets is a mistake which laymen frequently make.


The proportionate lengths given for this "Cadborosaurus" atre very like Oudemans' reconstructed sea serpent with its exaggeratedly long tail (Half of the full length) and this is probably due to a confusion with the wake. The thickness of 8 feet is very nearly doubled over Oudemans' version and so it is an independant indicator that the Vertical thickness was much exaggerated in this sighting.

It is notable that in this first Cadborosaurus sighting there is a spiny ridge down the middle of the back and not a mane as such.

Scott said the original source was Cadborosaurus: Survivor of the Deep. He also sends some other photo comparisons but in the non-Plesiosaur examples the head is too long and the wrong shape, and the length of the neck is much to short:

Vertical height decreased by one half and is much better in line with other sightings. there are a number of things which could cause this optical illusion but the most obvious would be confusion of the actual body with its reflection on the surface of the water. The inset drawing shows the head and the orange circle indicates where the eye should be (A number of sightings suggest the eyes are cryptically coloured the same as the skin but the Euryapsid opening in the top back of the skull might have false eyespots (Ocelli) that draw attacks instead of the real eyes.)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Scientists uncover new species of Andean marsupial frog

Scientists uncover new species of Andean marsupial frog
By: Jordanna Dulaney
March 05, 2014


The term "marsupial frog" might sound like a hoax, but, believe it or not, it's real. Recently, herpetologists welcomed a new species, known as Gastrotheca dysprosita and described in the journal Phyllomedusa

Unlike mammal marsupials, which typically carry their young in pouches on their torsos and are found primarily in Australia, the Gastrotheca genus of frogs, which contains 62 species, is found in the Andes region on South America and sport their pouches on their backs (also called a "dorsal brood pouch"). The female frog's vascular tissue provides oxygen to the eggs, which she carries for three to four months until they hatch as fully-developed froglets and head off on their own. 

This most recently described species owes its classification to William Duellman, of the University of Kansas. While announced in June 2013, the story of this frog's discovery really began in 1972 when Fred G. Thompson, a malacologist from the University of Florida, collected the first specimen in the Peruvian Amazon. Thompson brought the mystery frog back to the U.S., and gave it to Duellman to identify and catalog. 

An adult male of the species Gastrotheca dysprosita. Photo by W. E. Duellman.

An adult male of the species Gastrotheca dysprosita. Photo by W. E. Duellman 

The plot thickened when, in 1989, another research group both heard and caught another unidentifiable male in the same region. A second call was heard higher up the mountain, but rainy weather made it impossible to find another specimen. 

"The jar containing the holotype [original specimen] of this new species has been gathering dust… I have been trying to clean up loose ends during the preparation of a monograph [a detailed study] on marsupial frogs," Duellman wrote in his article announcing Gastrotheca dysprosita. "Thus, herein I eliminate a loose end by describing a new species." 

For his description, Duellman took meticulous measurements of the two frogs' bodies, and compared them to known species. In life, the new species has bumpy, bright green skin with stripes of creamish and brown spots down its back and sides. Duellman describes the iris as a "reddish copper" color. The two individuals were found between 3,370 to 3,440 meters (11,000 to 11,300 feet) on the Cerro Barro Negro, a single mountain in Peru. 

Little is known about the behavior patterns of Gastrotheca dysprosita since only two frogs have been found up to this point. Under the IUCN's (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) guidelines, it's impossible to make a guess at population size because there simply isn't enough data. 

Even the name of the frog is mysterious: dysprosita, from the Greek word dysprositos, literally means "hard to find." The name would thus be translated as the "hard-to-find marsupial frog." 

"The name reflects the difficulty in finding this elusive frog," Duellman states in the species description. 

  • Duellman, William E. "An Elusive New Species of Marsupial Frog (Anura: Hemiphractidae: Gastrotheca) from the Andes of Northern Peru." Phyllomedusa12.3-11 (2013): n. pag. Web.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Administrative Notice about Abominables

In future all information pertaining to living examples of fossil humans, Almas of Asia and the American counterpart,is to be sent to the Frontiers of Anthropology blog. If there is any new information on uncaught anthropoid apes, Yetis, Yeren, Yowies or Skunk apes (NAPEs), it shall be treated as any other news item, but I don't see any particular value in going over the older information again. Any information on fossil Gigantopithecus or possible survival of Gigantopithecus is to be given a higher priority, but once again we intend to focus on new material and news items on this blog.

                   Orangutan and Orang Pendek. Orang Pendek is considered identical to the smaller kind
                   of Yeti and Yeren, and a kind of Australian Yowie: similar creatures are also reported in
                   both North and South America. This information is still in exact accordance with Ivan T.
                   Sanderson's remarks on the subject made in 1961

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Flexibility of Plesiosaur Necks

Jay Cooney just posted this message this morning:

A diagram by Mark Evans which was recently included in an article on the Tetrapod Zoology blog. This is meant to show the possible ranges of vertical motion present in the necks of Cryptoclidus and Muraenosaurus based on fossil remains. Although this would seem to put a damper on the relict plesiosaur hypothesis, the article noted "that cartilage and other soft tissues may have allowed more flexibility than we can predict based on osteology alone." Add to that the SV-POW study which found that fossil reptile forms would most likely hold their necks at elevated angles. Please note that none of the people I cited here agree with the thinking that relict plesiosaurs exist.

And then I added:
Dale Drinnon ...Which is precisely what I have been saying all along, none of these people allow for cartilages. And it is virtually nothing to go from the position at upper right into the standard "Periscope" position (The standard periscope does not include the base of the neck but by its very nature ordinarily only the front 2/3 of the length of the neck)

The more extreme type of perriscope has no forward motion and the body can be assumed to be held vertically in the water, thusly:
The turnover at the end in the periscope uses the first several vertebrae which is the most flexible part of the neck. You can tell these vertebrae look different (red circle below)

And this is using Mark Evans' own drawing from the illustration posted by Jay Cooney

Monday, 3 March 2014


Darren Naish recently posted on this form and the message elicited a response from Jay Cooney that this could be the fossil form of Heuvelmans' "Megalotaria" (he expressed displeasure in bringing the subject up) I agreed that if ever a fossil species deserved that name, then Thalassoleon macnallyae at the size of a walrus would deserve that name.


Thalassoleon is an extinct genus of large fur sealThalassoleon inhabited the Northern Pacific ocean in latest Miocene and early Pliocene time. Fossils of T. mexicanus are known from Baja California and southern California. T. macnallyae is known from central California, and T. inouei (which may be a synonym of T. macnallyae) is known from Japan.Thalassoleon could be the ancestor of the modern Northern Fur Seal.

T. mexicanus was comparible in size to the largest fur seals, with an estimated weight of 650-700 lbs.[1] T. macnallyae, based on size of the mandible, may have grown much larger, similar in size to a walrus.


  1. Jump up^ Geological Survey professional paper, Volume 992 By Geological Survey (U.S.)

Incidentally the female was 50% the size of the male which is close to modern fur seals. Fossils are found in the North Pacific, from Baja California to Mexico.

FossilWorks gives this data on the largest species:

Thalassoleon macnallyae Repenning and Tedford 1977 (eared seal)
Full reference: C. A. Repenning and R. H. Tedford. 1977. Otarioid seals of the Neogene. Geological Survey Professional Paper 992:1-93
Belongs to Thalassoleon according to T. A. Demere and A. Berta 2005
Type specimen: UCMP 112809, a partial skull. Its type locality is Drakes Beach, which is in a Messinian marine sandstone in the Drakes Bay Formation of California.
Ecology: amphibious piscivore
Age range: 7.246 to 5.332 Ma
Distribution: found only at Drakes Beach

And this on the more usual-sized species:

Thalassoleon mexicanus Repenning and Tedford 1977 (eared seal)
Full reference: C. A. Repenning and R. H. Tedford. 1977. Otarioid seals of the Neogene. Geological Survey Professional Paper 992:1-93
Belongs to Thalassoleon according to T. A. Demere and A. Berta 2005
Type specimen: IGCU 902, a skull
Ecology: amphibious piscivore
Environments: coastal (all collections)
Age range: 7.246 to 3.6 Ma
• Pliocene of Japan (1 collection), United States (1: California)
• Miocene of Mexico (1), United States (1: California)
Total: 4 collections each including a single occurrence

"thalassoleon_by_hodarinundu-d4pu5g8" above, a probably not very accurate reconstruction from Deviant Art.   "Thalassoleon_mexicanusingame1"  below

Admittedly the fossils are very sparse and there is only one specimen for the larger species. However it is just possible that the larger species (or one derived from it) could have survived the ice age, be alive today as the "Megotaria" (in sealion form, as we have construed it) and might have worked its way around to including also a North Atlantic population. So at this point I would like to declare that the best possibility we have suggested so far is that "Megalotaria" is only the continuing survival of the large species of Thalassoleon. That assumption could easily prove wrong for any number of reasons. But it is still the best suggestion that we have to go on at the present time.

Surviving Steller's Sea Cows

I have some pretty good information that this could be right and there are supposed to be surviving Steller's sea cows in this area. Unfortunately the video isn't clear enough that you can say that is what it shows.

The G E Taylor film, Loch Ness, 1938

Forwarded from the Lake Monsters page on Facebook

The G E Taylor film, Loch Ness, 1938.

On May 29th, 1938, a South African tourist, GE Taylor, scored another film. It is the first color film of the Loch Ness monster . Taylor used a 16mm camera . At that time, when interviewed by newspapers , Taylor said:

" It was a very long and rounded body ending in a long neck that was about the only thing that stuck out , the rest of the body was about half a meter below the surface. Its color was a very dark almost black gray, was moving near the shore opposite Foyers and could see at a distance of about 200 meters. This was approximately 12:00 noon."

Then he went to find one of his friends and went to see the monster was still in the lake, even closer than before  150 meters away. Taylor resumed his camera and filmed again.

The entire film was sent to the writer Maurice Burton , who in turn referred it to the United Kyndom National Institute of Oceanography (now Southampton Oceanographic Centre) which found that it was " an inanimate object among many floating in the lake."

One of the few people who has seen the movie, and also have it in custody, is Maurice Burton. Unfortunately Burton has not let anyone analyze it which reduces its credibility .

Burton posted a picture on his book "The Elusive Monster" , before he retired . Dr. Roy P Mackall said that the photo was a "positive test " according to Janet and Colin Bord

 The witness' description seems to be correct, this looks like a long extension above water and more of the body just below the surface, but somewhat foreshortened from the angle and very blurry overall. However it is just possible what is being shown is something like the white line I have added to indicate it. This is of course going by my own bias in the matter and no doubt shall draw criticism from the skeptics. I should mention that this way is in agreement with the reports and with the Rines underwater "Body" photo. Burton says the limbs are barely visible moving below the water and this also seems to be true.

This is admittedly speculative and you are free to form your own opinions on the matter.

REPOST: Scott Mardis on Plesiosaurs in Cold Water and Freshwater

Scott Mardis on Plesiosaurs in Cold Water and Freshwater

PERSPECTIVES ON THE “LIVING PLESIOSAUR” CONTROVERSY                                                                                                                                                                                                 Edited by and featuring commentary by Scott Mardis             
Loch Ness Monsters (Nessies) are—if they exist—animals of a species either not yet known to science or known but thought to have been long extinct.  
Much controversy has concerned eyewitness testimonies and photographs whose relevance and validity are uncertain. However, there also exists a body of objective evidence that critics have been unable to gainsay: the Dinsdale film; numerous sonar echoes obtained over many years by different investigators; and underwater photography in 1972 coincident with sonar detection of large targets.
If the descriptions of Nessies provided by photos and eyewitnesses could be interpreted as some species of animal known from anywhere else in the world, there would be no great fuss about it. If sharks, say, or dolphins, or some small whales had adapted to fresh water, that would be quite interesting to biologists but no reason for world-wide media or public interest. The trouble is, Nessies look like nothing now known to be aliveanywhere. Perhaps even worse, they look rather dinosaur-like. The real animals that they resemble most closely are plesiosaurs, marine creatures that once thrived in the oceans all over the globe but that are believed to have been extinct for tens of millions of years .”- Henry H. Bauer, The Case for the Loch Ness “Monster”: The Scientific Evidence, Journal of Scientific Exploration 16(2) (2002), pp. 225–246                  
Top image: 1975 Academy of Applied Science Loch Ness photograph, Bottom image: Skeleton of Cryptocleidus oxoniensis plesiosaur   
“I think they got frightened. Those who make their living from this, the zoologists, are not ready to believe, on the basis of one picture, that something that should have been dead 65 million years ago is still existing in some form at Loch Ness, Scotland.” - Dr. Robert Rines, NOVA: The Beast of Loch Ness, PBS Television, 1999
"The publication of Scott and Rines and the photographs in the national press indicate that there may be a plesiosaur-like reptile inhabiting Loch Ness . It is exceedingly difficult to envisage how a former tropical marine reptile could endure the cold waters and harsh environment provided by a small lake in Scotland . Since Loch Ness did not exist until some 12,000 years ago, one is faced with the problem of the survival of Nessiteras for a period of 64 million years in a world where it’s former ecological niche has been occupied by modern cetaceans and pinnipeds” – L.B. Halstead, P.D. Goriup and J.A. Middleton, Departments of Geology and Zoology, University of Reading, U.K., letter to the journal Nature 259 (1976), pp. 75-76. 
“What the body temperature and thermoregulation processes of extinct vertebrates were are central questions for understanding their ecology and evolution. The thermophysiologic status of the great marine reptiles is still unknown, even though some studies have suggestedthat thermoregulation may have contributed to their exceptional evolutionary success as apexpredators of Mesozoic aquatic ecosystems. We tested the thermal status of ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs by comparing the oxygen isotope compositions of their tooth phosphate to those of coexisting fish. Data distribution reveals that these large marine reptiles were able to maintain a constant and high body temperature in oceanic environments ranging from tropical to cold temperate. Their estimated body temperatures, in the range from 35°
T 2°C to 39°
T 2°C, suggest high metabolic rates required for predation and fast swimming over large distances offshore.                                                                            
Paladino et al. proposed that some marine reptiles such as leatherback turtles display endothermy instead of inertial homeothermy, thus helping them to feed in cold waters. However, Lutcavage et al. showed that the studied gravid female specimens raised their metabolic rates because of egg laying, thus biasing the evaluation of their true metabolic status.
Adaptation to cold marine waters was also revealed by the fossil reptile assemblage discovered in the Aptian southern high-latitude deposits of the White Cliffs in southeast Australia. The specimens were attributed to at least three families of plesiosaurs and at least one of ichthyosaurs . Paleoclimatic proxies indicate cold to near-freezing conditions at the seasonal scale, a climate mode that is not tolerated by modern ectothermic reptiles such as turtles or crocodiles. This observation suggests that some Mesozoic marine reptile taxa were able to cope with low temperature marine environments .”-Aurélien Bernard, et al. Regulation of Body Temperature by Some Mesozoic Marine Reptiles, Science 328(2010);pp.1379-1382                         
Ryosuke Motani, Warm-Blooded “Sea Dragons”?, Science 328, 2010, pp.1361-1362)
(Left) Mesozoic Geologic Table(Right) South Pole (Early Cretaceous Period).                                                                                       
“The subsurface opal-bearing deposits of the Bulldog Shale at Coober Pedy and Andamooka in South Australia, and the Doncaster Member of the Wallumbilla Formation at White Cliffs in New South Wales, represent localities of some significance, producing ichthyosaurs and a high diversity of plesiosaur taxa. The sediments comprise predominantly finely laminated shaly mudstones and claystones representing deposition under transgressive shallow marine conditions, and in an Early Cretaceous high latitude zone (60(–70(S;). Because of severe weathering and often-poor locality data (a result of specimens being discovered serendipitously and extracted during opal mining), assignment of most marine reptile fossils to exact stratigraphic horizons is again problematic. However, a predominantly Aptian age can be suggested on the basis of macro invertebrate assemblages , and the presence of potentially ice-rafted quartzite/porphyritic boulders and glendonite (pseudomorphs of the calcium carbonate hexahydratemineral ikaite) nodules
These conspicuous sedimentary structures characterise the early depositional stages of the Bulldog Shale and Wallumbilla Formation in the southern Eromanga Basin and have been correlated with a period of very cold to near-freezing climatic conditionsduring the Late Neocomian–Early Albian. A similar cool temperate to very cold environmental setting has been suggested for the Lower-mid Albian (Cparadoxa Zone) estuarine–coastal plain facies of the Griman Creek Formation at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales/Suratregion, Queensland, and the Aptian–Lower Albian (ChughsiiSubzone–Cstriatus Subzone) braided stream and overbank flood plain deposits of the Wonthaggi and Eumeralla formations in Victoria. These units have produced a handful of plesiosaur remains (mainly isolated teeth) that represent animals living near to or within the Cretaceous southern polar circle and evidently adapted to at least seasonal occupation of inland freshwater environments .
Leptocleidus is currently the most widely distributed plesiosaur genus known from Australia. Isolated remains also possibly attributable to Leptocleidus have been described from Albian freshwater sediments of the Griman Creek Formation at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales and the Surat district of Queensland. The bulk of these specimens consist of isolated teeth, although some skeletal elements, including a large propodial similar to that of Leptocleidus clemai (from the Hauterivian–Barremian Birdrong Sandstone of Western Australia),have been discovered. Fragmentary pliosauroid teeth and ribs closely resembling those of Leptocleidus sp. have also been recorded from the freshwater braided stream and overbank floodplain deposits of the Wonthaggi and Eumeralla formations in Victoria. Interestingly , these deposits were laid down in a very cold, high-latitude environment and provide evidence of plesiosaurs living within inland streams and rivers at the Cretaceous South Pole.”- Benjamin P. Kear, Cretaceous marine reptiles of Australia: a review of taxonomy and distribution, Cretaceous Research 24 (2003), pp. 277–303                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 The record of plesiosaurians from freshwater deposits is sparse in comparison to those from marine sediments. Despite this, a number of discoveries have been made from around the world. The fact that these range in age from Early–Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous attests to the group’s long history of habitation in non-marine environments. The vast majority of non-marine plesiosaur specimens are fragmentary, and many are taxonomically uninformative. Where they are diagnostic, however, many of the freshwater specimens are referable either to ‘rhomaleosaurid-like’ taxa, or to the widespread Cretaceous pliosauroid genus Leptocleidus. Not surprisingly, therefore, the material from southeastern Australia shares similarities with this latter taxon, and lends support to the hypothesis that freshwater and near-shore marine environments may have served as refugia for plesiomorphic pliosauriform plesiosaurs well into the late Early Cretaceous. The plesiosaur fossils from southeastern Australia constitute one of a number of recognized finds from Cretaceous high-latitude deposits. However, most other occurrences are marine in origin, including examples from central Australia, New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, Patagonia, Antarctica and the Canadian Northwest Territories. Amongst the currently documented specimens, those from the Early Cretaceous units of central and southeastern Australia are unusual because they occur in association with paleoclimatic indicators (e.g., cryoturbated sediments, glacial erratics, glendonites, and growth-banded wood) denoting seasonally very cold to near freezing conditions. This contrasts markedly with climatic regimes typically tolerated by modern aquatic reptiles, but suggests that some plesiosaur taxa may have been able to cope with extremely low average water temperatures.”-Benjamin P. Kear, PLESIOSAUR REMAINS FROM CRETACEOUS HIGH-LATITUDE NON-MARINE DEPOSITS IN SOUTHEASTERN AUSTRALIA, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26(1) (2006), pp.196–199                                                                                                                    
Freshwater plesiosaurs from southeastern Australia (from Kear 2006)                                                                                                                                                                                               
“The taxonomic status of three previously reported plesiosaurian specimens from the non-marine Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Campanian-Maastrichtian, Upper Cretaceous) is reassessed. The holotype of Leurospondylus ultimus and a previously undescribed partial skeleton from Red Deer River Valley represent indeterminate elasmosaurids. The two plesiosaurian specimens came from different horizons for which different environments are inferred. The larger individual may be closely related to
Elasmosaurus . This study supports the hypothesized decline of polycotylid plesiosaurs in the North American during the Late Campanian and suggests small adults and juveniles of elasmosaurids existed in both marine and non-marine environments whereas large adults were limited to the latter .”- Tamaki Sato and Xiao-Chun Wu,REVIEW OF PLESIOSAURIANS (REPTILIA: SAUROPTERYGIA) FROM THE UPPER CRETACEOUS HORSESHOE CANYON FORMATION IN ALBERTA, CANADA,Paludicola 5(4) (2006), pp.150-169                                                                                                 
Freshwater plesiosaurs, probably Elasmosaurid, from Horseshoe Canyon, Alberta, Canada(from Sato and Wu 2006)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
“While the majority of plesiosaur material is associated with marine shelf deposits, some specimens have been found associated with lagoonal, estuarine or delta-margin environments and freshwater environments. Sedimentological evidence for the environment of deposition of the Axel Heiberg locality indicates that it was deposited in a lagoon or bay, but the evidence is equivocal as to the salinity of the water during deposition. While the occurrence of the plesiosaur suggests marine or brackish-water conditions, the associated fauna suggests a non-marine environment. Taxa found in association with plesiosaurs recovered from marine and near-shore lagoonal environments typically include a diverse assemblage of marine vertebrates. Mosasaurs (Kear, 2003) are typically found in association with plesiosaurs in Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. Other marine vertebrates typically found in association with plesiosaurs include marine turtles and various fishes, such as EnchodusCoelodus,Oseroides, and Hoplopteryx. However, such taxa are absent in the Axel Heiberg assemblage. At this locality, the vertebrates found in association with the plesiosaur remains are all taxa that are typical of non-marine vertebrate assemblages.Thus the faunal evidence suggests that these teeth represent an additional non-marine occurrence of plesiosaurs.
Plesiosaur occurrences in non-marine settings are typically dominated by small individuals. In the Late Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, all the plesiosaur remains recovered are from individuals of small size, and one-third of the specimens show features indicative of juvenile individuals. The small size of the plesiosaur from the Axel Heiberg assemblage is consistent with the dominance of juveniles in non-marine environments. The Cretaceous saw an explosion of plesiosaurian diversity, and distributions extended to above the Arctic Circle. In the Southern Hemisphere, high-latitude occurrences of Cretaceous plesiosaurs have been reported from Seymour Island of the Antarctica Peninsula, New Zealand, Argentina, and Australia. In addition to the new Axel Heiberg occurrence, high-latitude occurrences of plesiosaurs in the Cretaceous of the Northern Hemisphere include reports of plesiosaurs from the Kanguk Formation of Ellesmere Island and from Upper Cretaceous sediments on Banks Island, Eglinton Island and Melville Island in the western Canadian Arctic. The ages of some of the western Arctic occurrences are not yet well constrained, but it is possible that they are from sedimentary correlates of the Kanguk Formation. Seasonal migration of vertebrates has been discussed for some Cretaceous Arctic vertebrates. But the high-latitude distribution of plesiosaurs may also be a further reflection of the extreme Turonian-Coniacian climatic warmth, which is apparent from other vertebrates found in the Axel Heiberg assemblage” – Deborah Vandermark et al., Late Cretaceous Plesiosaur Teeth from Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada,Arctic 59 (1) (2006), pp.79-82                                                                 
(Left) Freshwater Elasmosaurid Teeth, Axel Heilberg Island, High Canadian Arctic (from Vandermark et al. 2006) (Right) Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coracea)                                                                                                                                                                  
“There used to be a time when the BBC’s ability to produce good science documentaries was highly respected: they generally portrayed a balanced view of the subject, had their facts straight, and were careful not to cast ideas, or scientists themselves, in an inappropriate light. Alas, those days are long gone, as viewing of any Horizon documentary made within the last five years will show. The BBC’s Loch Ness documentary shown last Sunday was no exception, though let me say that I like Steve Leonard and I enjoy watching his stuff. When wondering if a hypothetical plesiosaur could survive in waters as cold as those in Loch Ness, Leonard pointed to leatherbacks and to Australian fossil sites yielding (apparently) coldwater plesiosaurs.                 
Leatherbacks really can swim in cold boreal seas , but despite initial results from Paladino et al. (1990) they are no longer thought to have a resting metabolic rate elevated compared to that of other similar-sized reptiles. In other words, they are bradymetabolic. However, they are endotherms and have a bunch of features that allow them to be cold tolerant including an insulative carapace, a thick, oil-saturated skin, fibrous fatty tissue and counter current heat exchange mechanisms in the flippers. The presence or absence of all these things can be determined from fossils and there are enough good plesiosaur fossils (including at least one good specimen with skin impressions- my info on it is from Arthur Cruikshank, an expert on plesiosaur anatomy) for us to be confident that these things were absent in plesiosaurs. The bone microtexture and histology of plesiosaurs is not consistent with endothermy- they appear to have been ‘traditional’ reptiles. So the only getout for having them as cold tolerant is to argue that they were gigantotherms.                                                  
Problem: the entire theory of gigantothermy is based on Paladino et al.’s erroneous data on leatherbacks, and it has since been retracted by these authors. Given that other studies do not show leatherbacks to have an elevated metabolic rate (Lutcavage et al. 1990), the theory of gigantothermy has died a death, and there is no evidence that giant bradymetabolic vertebrates converge in physiology with giant tachymetabolic ones. Even if gigantothermy were a viable theory, in marine reptiles it is only theoretically possible with the suite of features cited above. Indeed Orenstein (2001) writes ‘Gigantothermy…would not be enough to keep a leatherback warm in cold northern waters’ (pg. 134). At the moment the idea that plesiosaurs may have been cold tolerant is not based on any good evidence.                                                                     
As for the evidence showing that some Cretaceous plesiosaurs inhabited cold water with icebergs etc., this is controversial: the Cretaceous poles were nowhere near as cold as the modern ones and the evidence that the Australian sites they referred to were frequented by icebergs rests on the presence of drop stones- rocks alien to the local sedimentary geology and which appear to have been carried to their new home by ice. The problem is that icebergs are not the only way in which drop stones get dropped. Stones and rocks can also be carried for miles and miles in the roots of floating trees and as seaweed holdfasts.”- Darren Naish, CZ Conversations: Darren Naish on Plesiosaurs, Basilosaurs and the Problems with Reconstructions, North American BioFortean Review 5 (3) (2003), pp.10-19                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 Higher metabolic rates for these ancient reptiles, relative to modern ones, have previously been suggested, on the basis of bone histology and swimming energetics.All three groups (plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs) had a higher body temperature than co-occurring fish by about 5° to 20°C, with the exception of Triassic ichthyosaurs. This suggests that they had heat conservation systems such as blubber layers and specialized blood circulation.”- Ryosuke Motani, Warm-Blooded “Sea Dragons”?, Science 328 (2010), pp.1361-1362
 No other known extant reptile shows this combination of chondro-osseus developmental features. However, certain extinct reptiles show some similarities to the leatherback: plesiosaurs have been described as having endochondral and periosteal cones that do not remodel ; ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, nothosaurs and mesosaurs are known to have amedullary bones with cancellous-compacta differentiation paralleling that of marine mammals, and protostegid turtles have also been noted briefly to be somewhat similar in this respect. All these fossil reptiles were highly adapted to a marine existence as shown by other skeletal features. No terrestrial vertebrate has these chondro-osseus developmental features. The fact that such diverse groups as cetaceans, sirenians, pinnipeds, penguins, extinct marine reptiles and amphibians, and leatherback turtles have such a high degree of physical similarity in bone morphology suggests an underlying mechanism of marine adaptability which has led to a highly developed pattern of skeletal evolutionary convergence .”-Anders G. J. Rhodin et al., Chondro-osseus Morphology of Dermochelys coreacea, a marine reptile with mammalian skeletal features, Nature 290 (5803) (1981), pp. 244-246                                                                                    
The Plesiosaur Polycotylus latippinus giving birth
“Among modern reptiles, the plesiosaur-like trait combination of viviparity, small brood size, and large birth size is rare, but it does occur in the scincid Egernia species group. Because both cetaceans and Egernia-group lizards are highly social and engage in substantial maternal care, plesiosaurs may have behaved similarly. We hypothesize that large plesiosaur fetus size may indicate that plesiosaurs lived in gregarious social groups and engaged in parental
care. ”- F. R. OKeefe and L. M. Chiappe, Viviparity and K-Selected Life History in a Mesozoic Marine Plesiosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia),Science 333(2011), pp. 870-873                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 The ability of plesiosaurs to move on land is another point of contention . The mechanics of their skeletons imply a completely aquatic existence: the limb girdles are only weakly connected to the axial skeleton and this would inhibit the transfer of force from limb strokes into movement on land. However, small plesiosaurs may have been relatively unaffected by these constraints and might have used their powerful limb downstrokes to propel themselves forward in short ‘hops’.”- Adam Stuart Smith, Fossils Explained 54: Plesiosaurs, Geology Today 24(2) (2008), pp.71-75      
The plesiosaur Cryptocleidus oxoniensis on land from the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs, Copyright Dave Martill and Darren Naish 2000                     
Arthur Grant’s sketch of Loch Ness “ Monster” on land, Jan. 1934                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
“An hypothesis requires two elements. It has to be 1) verifiable - supported by evidence and 2) falsifiable - capable of being shown false by evidence. For example: "Plesiosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period" is a useful hypothesis. It is verified by the fact that we have not found any plesiosaurs in post-Cretaceous deposits. It can be falsified by the discovery of plesiosaurs in post-cretaceous deposits. So far, no plesiosaur fossils have been found in post-cretaceous deposits, so the hypothesis stands. "Plesiosaurs did not become extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period" sounds as if it is the corollary hypothesis to the first hypothesis. After all, if they didn't become extinct at the end of the cretaceous, the only possible alternative is that they did not become extinct. But science can't work this way: The assertion is not verified - there are no plesiosaur fossils in post-cretaceous deposits, even though it could be verified by the discovery of such fossils. However, it cannot be falsified: there is no evidence which could show that plesiosaurs did *not* become extinct at the end of the cretaceous. We may look for such fossils but never find them because they don't exist, or because we are looking in the wrong places, or because the places in which post-cretaceous plesiosaurs lived did not provide conditions suitable for fossilisation, or for any other number of unknown reasons. This makes is it not a useless hypothesis, but not an hypothesis at all. An inherent element of any hypothesis that it should be falsifiable. Without falsifiability there is no hypothesis.                                                                                                                                                
There is an obvious parallel in the discovery of Latimeria. Before 1938, one might have formulated the hypothesis that coelacanths became extinct by the end of the Cretaceous. This hypothesis would be verified by the lack of such fossils, and could be falsified by the discovery of post-cretaceous coelacanths. It was falsified rather dramatically in 1938 when Latimeria was discovered. This does not mean that it was not a good hypothesis - the fact that it was falsified means that it was. Furthermore, it does not mean that we now have to work from the hypothesis that coelacanths survived to the present day: that's a fact, not an hypothesis. The assertion that they have survived to the present day is verified by the existence of Latimeria, but that assertion is not an hypothesis: it cannot be falsified. Latimeria can't be ‘undiscovered’ again.”- Richard Forrest, Something about hypotheses,