At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Friday, 19 September 2014

PLESIOSAURS AND LAKE MONSTERS

Plesiosaur

There seems to be a fairly widespread assumption that lake monsters and sea-monsters are plesiosaurs.  This assumption owes its origin to a number of factors, which we shall consider below.

According to the fossil record, the plesiosaur died out 66 million years ago, but the fossil record is incomplete, so we cannot use that argument to say plesiosaurs did not survive beyond that date.

Plesiosaur remains were discovered as early as 1605 and the creature was named in 1821.  It is presumed it was a cold-blooded creature.  Because of its long neck and humped back, it conforms in some respects to descriptions of lacustrine and marine monsters.  Also, creatures washed up on the shore sometimes look like plesiosaurs.

With regard to the creatures washed onto the shoreline, they generally turn out to be the harmless basking shark.  When one of these starts to decompose, sections of it rot away, leaving a remnant that resembles the outline of a plesiosaur.  The Zuiyo-Maru monster, fished out of the sea in 1977, proved to be a decaying basking shark.

Sometimnes monsters, including him of Loch Ness, are described as beings with a hump and a head on the end of a slender neck, held upright.  From this we can infer that such monsters are certainly not plesiosaurs, as it has been shown that it was quite impossible for them to raise their heads.

Whatever sea serpents and the Loch Ness Monster may be, we can rule out plesiosaurs.

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