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Palaeontologist Discovers 'Triassic Kraken'?

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  • uploaded: Oct 15, 2011
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BY RICHARD LAYCOCK

A recent discovery has got the scientific community and the web talking. And for maybe the first time in history, they all seem to agree.

Palaeontologist, Mark McMenmin, believes he has discovered the remnants of a creature from Norse lore and the silver-screen: a "Triassic Kraken". Slate has more.

"Paleontologist, Mark McMenmin, announced his theory after seeing a bizarre arrangement of dinosaur bones in Nevada. The pile of Ichthyosaur bones seem to mimic the debris that the modern-day octopus uses to camouflage its den. There is no direct evidence of a Kraken like creature but McMenimin says that's because the soft tissue of the Kraken would not last long enough to fossilize."

But a writer for Science 20 says the hypothesis is specious reasoning. In an article entitled 'You're Kraken Me Up,' she dismisses the claim and expects others will do the same.

"If your reaction to this bizarre claim is to snort something that starts with B and ends with it, you're not alone."

McMenmin's claim is copping flak from all directions. Discovery.com cautions readers to not to let their imaginations run wild.

"We all love a good story, particularly if it involves ancient sea monsters big enough to take down ships. But when you start hearing from scientists that those same sea monsters were expressing themselves artistically, it may be time for journalists to question the difference between a good story and solid science."

An evolutionary biologist at the University of Minnesota, Paul Myers, says it's hard not to want the whole thing to be true. Unfortunately, he says on Science Blogs, Mcmenmin's science just doesn't have the legs- or tenticles.

"At first I thought this discovery was really cool, because I love the idea of ancient giant cephalopods creating art and us finding the works now. But then, reality sinks in: that's a genuinely, flamboyantly extravagant claim, and the evidence better be really, really solid. And it's not. It's actually rather pathetic."

Mcmenmin has remained positive amid the conjecture and maintains, according to slate.com, that "We have a good case".

Transcript by Newsy



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