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Colossal 'sea monster' unearthed - Comments

Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 1 by Sally Luxmoore

"Compared to this, T Rex was just a kitten"


Wow!
I have been fossil hunting in this area, and was ridiculously pleased with my little ammonites and belemnites... They sort of pale into insignificance next to this...

This is the area where Mary Anning found her fossils, many of which are now prize specimens in the Natural History Museum in London.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:04:00 UTC | #409075

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 2 by TIKI AL

"It could take a T-Rex in one gulp." Oh really?

In a land battle my money is on Mr T.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:12:00 UTC | #409079

Muetze's Avatar Comment 3 by Muetze

The Tyrannosaurus comparisons would be stupid even if they were accurate. A simple look on Wikipedia will tell you that the bigest specimen of T.Rex ever found was close to 13 meters in length. Hardly a kitten when compared to a 16 meter ... marine reptile.

I bet in two hundred million years the post-human civilisation equivalent of the BBC will be pitching fossilised tigers against fossilised great white sharks in imaginary battles.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:20:00 UTC | #409086

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 4 by mordacious1

The big news here is the condition of the skull, not necessarily the size of the pliosaur. As the article states, there have been pliosaurs of this size found elsewhere. Hopefully, the rest of the fossil is in the same condition.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:21:00 UTC | #409087

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 5 by mordacious1

I think the "kitten" reference is based on skull size. The T rex at 1.5m and the pliosaur at 2.4m, the business end, so to speak.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:25:00 UTC | #409089

Fuzzy Duck's Avatar Comment 6 by Fuzzy Duck

It's discoveries like this that make me want to go dig up fossils. Not that I'm counting on discovering one of the largest pliosaurs known, but to paraphrase Sir David Attenborough, there's something so wonderful and spine-tingling about being the first human to lay your eyes on a fossil since it was deposited millions of years ago.


Kevin

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:42:00 UTC | #409095

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 7 by TIKI AL

Fuzzy Duck @ 6: I know that feeling. Like when I was cleaning the garage and stumbled on my Elvis 45 of "Hound Dog" that went missing a half century ago.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 18:03:00 UTC | #409098

Sciros's Avatar Comment 8 by Sciros

Yeah these are sweet. I wonder if they ever ran into these guys -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tylosaurus -- and what that would have looked like. A recent program on Mosasaurs made them out to be very well equipped to tackle Plesiosaurs because of their maneuverability and the kind of bite their jaws produced (a saw-like motion).

I recently visited the AMNH, and saw the big Mosasaur skeleton there. Would be cool to see a Pliosaur one at some point.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 18:17:00 UTC | #409100

Alan C.'s Avatar Comment 9 by Alan C.

It could have taken a human in one gulp


150 million years ago? Methinks not :-)

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 18:19:00 UTC | #409102

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 10 by Apathy personified

Hopefully over the next few years more of the skeleton will emerge from the rocks.

TIKI AL,

In a land battle my money is on Mr T.
Indeed, I pity the fool who thinks otherwise.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 18:45:00 UTC | #409109

bamboospitfire's Avatar Comment 11 by bamboospitfire

Just to correct the mis-quotation above, the comment was, in fact:

"It could have taken a human in one gulp; in fact, something like a T. Rex would have been breakfast for a beast like this."

Does anyone here eat their breakfast in one gulp?

Ultimately, for some perspective in the other direction, the thing was still less than half as long as a big Blue Whale.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 19:59:00 UTC | #409126

Prankster's Avatar Comment 12 by Prankster

I saw something on "Walking with Dinosaurs" about 10 years ago called a Lipleurodon-still only about 50 ft long though, and still a relative tiddler to something like a Blue Whale-ah! Bamboospitfire got there first...

Bu to experience the tingle from finding a fossil like this must be amazing

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:06:00 UTC | #409129

Degsy's Avatar Comment 13 by Degsy

Am I mistaken, but was there not a contrary idea posited about the ferocious carnivorous nature of the T. Rex some years ago. The idea was that, far from being the malevolent hunting machine we imagined it to be, the true nature of this beast was that of an opportune scavenger.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:18:00 UTC | #409132

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 14 by TIKI AL

Apathy @ 10: Good one. And if Mr. T stumbled onto one of these he might say: "Hey, you with the teeth..."
...from "Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool" (1984)
("Do you know me? Of course you do. 'Cause I'm famous!")

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:34:00 UTC | #409136

elise97's Avatar Comment 15 by elise97

prankster, yes i saw that, it was called 'sea monsters' presented by nigel marven. according to the book of the series, liopleurordon, the biggest known pliosaur, was thought to have maxed out at 25 metres (80 feet) going on tooth marks found on bones. it was possibly the largest predator of all time, although thats only slightly bigger than a bull sperm whale that can grow to 20 metres!

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:37:00 UTC | #409138

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 16 by mordacious1

13. Comment #427401 by Degsy

Am I mistaken, but was there not a contrary idea posited about the ferocious carnivorous nature of the T. Rex some years ago. The idea was that, far from being the malevolent hunting machine we imagined it to be, the true nature of this beast was that of an opportune scavenger.


Yes, paleontologists have been arguing about this for quite some time. The scavenger idea is best promoted by Jack Horner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Horner_(paleontologist)

Bu most paleontologists accept that Tyrannosaurus was both an active predator and a scavenger like all large carnivores. If you look at its bipedalism (IMHO, a sign of speed, though Horner argues this isn't true) and its obvious ability to grapple prey with its large jaws, it would be difficult to argue for it only being a scavenger (though Horner does).

[edit] oops, that link goes to all Jack Horners, including the one in the corner...you have to pick "paleontologist.:0

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 21:19:00 UTC | #409151

Graeme's Avatar Comment 17 by Graeme

Interestingly enough, this was found not that far along the same beach in Charmouth (my home village), that Richard visited with some school children to look for fossils while filming for "The genius of Charles Darwin"..,,

On a slightly sadder, more annoying note, I followed a heading on the BBC link above "from other sites" to "The Plesiosaur site"...
(as I am the proud finder of various bits of fossiled bone, mainly ichthyosaur vertabrae,...) I and found an interesting and informative little site run by one guy in his spare time, and read that even he has to waste his time and effort dealing with hate mail from creationists..
What is the matter with these people!

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 21:54:00 UTC | #409160

Southpaw's Avatar Comment 18 by Southpaw

"In a land battle my money is on Mr T."

Pish, man. You're obviously forgetting about Chuck Norris.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 22:18:00 UTC | #409166

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 19 by Jos Gibbons

This creature may not have the size of a certain largely krill-munching filter feeder, but I know which would scare me more if I was in the sea. Jaws has nothing on a creature like ... wait, is this pliosaur actually named in the article? (Skim-reads again) No. Damn! I guess some science reporters thinking "it's a monster" is a more useful description than a bit of Latin.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 22:34:00 UTC | #409172

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 20 by TIKI AL

Southpaw @ 18: You mean the Chuck Norris that said during the Obama election, "If I was president, I would tattoo an American flag on the forehead of every atheist in America"?

Mr T would kick his rightwing godbot ass, and then strangle him with his gold bling.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 22:35:00 UTC | #409173

j.mills's Avatar Comment 21 by j.mills

When the thread reaches a discussion of who would win between Mr T and Chuck Norris, perhaps enough has been said...

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 22:59:00 UTC | #409182

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 22 by Border Collie

I've forgotten, was it Yahweh or Satan who buried these to test our faith?

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 22:59:00 UTC | #409183

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 23 by mordacious1

Border

I saw Richard with a shovel and a sack of rocks in Berkeley...

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 00:22:00 UTC | #409195

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 24 by Alternative Carpark

So how big is a full-size blue whale's skull?

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 00:27:00 UTC | #409197

j.mills's Avatar Comment 25 by j.mills

I remember that a blue whale's penis is the size of a phone box. Tends to stick in the mind more than skull size...

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 00:57:00 UTC | #409206

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 26 by Laurie Fraser

Stop press! Atheist has blue whale penis embedded in brain!

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 01:20:00 UTC | #409211

j.mills's Avatar Comment 27 by j.mills

Modesty prevents me telling you how big my brain is, but obviously it's bigger than a blue whale's penis...

(Now.)

(And don't ask how the damn thing got in there. It's hard to swallow.)

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 01:43:00 UTC | #409220

Fall's Profit's Avatar Comment 28 by Fall's Profit

I've forgotten, was it Yahweh or Satan who buried these to test our faith?


It is kind of like the half full or half empty glass question. Depends if you are talking to a pessimist Christian or an optimistic one.

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 01:45:00 UTC | #409222

weavehole's Avatar Comment 29 by weavehole

I bet in two hundred million years the post-human civilisation equivalent of the BBC will be pitching fossilised tigers against fossilised great white sharks in imaginary battles.


Wasnt this in a Simpson's/Family Guy episode?

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 04:03:00 UTC | #409238

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 30 by Peacebeuponme

Weavehole

Wasnt this in a Simpson's/Family Guy episode?
I belive Bart managed to secure peace between religions and subsequently became a prophet. Thousands of years later we hear a conversation between two warring factions which said something like:

"We believe that Bart spread a message of Peace and Love."

"No, we believe that He spread a message of Love and Unity."

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 11:35:00 UTC | #409297