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'Tully monster' mystery continues to endure


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The fins look squiddish but the teeth and the mouth really don't. It looks like something from Lovecraft.

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As far as they can discern, it's a basal chordate (but not a lamprey as previously believed). The Tully monster is one of evolution's greatest weirdos.

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3 minutes ago, eddword said:

How big or small is this creature. It's hard to tell by looking at the picture.

About a foot long. Not exactly a monster, in my opinion. 

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Here's a link to the actual paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pala.12282/full

Personally, I think an affinity with the Radiodonta is likely for Tullimonstrum.

Edited by Carnoferox
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First time Ive ever heard of it!! Its bizarre indeed  From the image I thought its head was on the end of that....thing... but no!

 

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I remember reading about it in college about ten or so years after it was discovered. Back then lamprey was the preferred explanation.  The fossils are pretty old I believe, Late Carboniferous.  I think there was more than one specimen in the find.  They are as someone said about a foot long, a monster in physiology rather than size.

Pure speculation on my part, what if this is a immature or larval form?  Maybe of a marine worm?

Can you imagine a 10 foot specimen, and now picture it in inland lakes with riverine connections to the sea?  Loch Ness?   A fully aquatic form of "Monster" makes a lot more sense to me than a pleisosaur  that must surface to breathe.  Lampreys, salmon, and steelhead all migrate into fresh water at some point in their life cycle.  Maybe it comes inland to breed and the little Tullys swim out to sea chasing lamprey and salmon smolt.  If someone spotted a large one, could it be mistaken for a pleisosaur  since folks were familiar with that form from the fossil record? Wouldn't that be a kick?

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9 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

Can you imagine a 10 foot specimen, and now picture it in inland lakes with riverine connections to the sea?  Loch Ness?   A fully aquatic form of "Monster" makes a lot more sense to me than a pleisosaur  that must surface to breathe.  Lampreys, salmon, and steelhead all migrate into fresh water at some point in their life cycle.  Maybe it comes inland to breed and the little Tullys swim out to sea chasing lamprey and salmon smolt.  If someone spotted a large one, could it be mistaken for a pleisosaur  since folks were familiar with that form from the fossil record? Wouldn't that be a kick?

The Tully Monster is actually fully grown. It is known from literally thousands of specimens, ranging from 3 to 14 inches in length, so a 10 foot long (or larger) one would be impossible. There is also no fossil record to indicate its survival past the Carboniferous, and its range seems to have been limited to Mazon Creek (not being found in other contemporaneous deposits). Additionally, it is only known from the marine Essex fauna of Mazon Creek, but the brackish/freshwater Braidwood fauna. All in all the Tully Monster is a very poor candidate for Nessie.

Edited by Carnoferox
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12 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

I remember reading about it in college about ten or so years after it was discovered. Back then lamprey was the preferred explanation.  The fossils are pretty old I believe, Late Carboniferous.  I think there was more than one specimen in the find.  They are as someone said about a foot long, a monster in physiology rather than size.

Pure speculation on my part, what if this is a immature or larval form?  Maybe of a marine worm?

Can you imagine a 10 foot specimen, and now picture it in inland lakes with riverine connections to the sea?  Loch Ness?   A fully aquatic form of "Monster" makes a lot more sense to me than a pleisosaur  that must surface to breathe.  Lampreys, salmon, and steelhead all migrate into fresh water at some point in their life cycle.  Maybe it comes inland to breed and the little Tullys swim out to sea chasing lamprey and salmon smolt.  If someone spotted a large one, could it be mistaken for a pleisosaur  since folks were familiar with that form from the fossil record? Wouldn't that be a kick?

I don't think it's plausible, but I'd love it to be true. Not much could make the LNM interesting to me, but you have managed it. 

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14 hours ago, Carnoferox said:

The Tully Monster is actually fully grown. It is known from literally thousands of specimens, ranging from 3 to 14 inches in length, so a 10 foot long (or larger) one would be impossible.

Well probably so, but impossible is an awfully final word.  Did it have precursors or antecedents, or is it just a singular creature with no connections to other lineages?  I'm not a LNM fan, but doesn't an aquatic creature at least make more sense than a plesiosaur? 

Not to test your patience, but how do you know its fully grown?  Are there not more than a few creatures whose larvae and fry are estuarine   while adult forms become pelagic or benthic? 

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8 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Well probably so, but impossible is an awfully final word.  Did it have precursors or antecedents, or is it just a singular creature with no connections to other lineages?  I'm not a LNM fan, but doesn't an aquatic creature at least make more sense than a plesiosaur? 

Not to test your patience, but how do you know its fully grown?  Are there not more than a few creatures whose larvae and fry are estuarine   while adult forms become pelagic or benthic? 

 

the hammerhead has eyes on stalks, sort of......  but Im not claiming anything

p037p15v.jpg

Edited by seeder
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1 hour ago, Tatetopa said:

Well probably so, but impossible is an awfully final word.  Did it have precursors or antecedents, or is it just a singular creature with no connections to other lineages?  I'm not a LNM fan, but doesn't an aquatic creature at least make more sense than a plesiosaur? 

Not to test your patience, but how do you know its fully grown?  Are there not more than a few creatures whose larvae and fry are estuarine   while adult forms become pelagic or benthic? 

The Tully Monster is pretty unique, and as of yet doesn't have any close known relatives living or extinct. There are thousands of Tully Monster specimens, showing a growth series from small to large, with the largest only being around a foot long (a far, far cry from the 20+ feet reported of the monster). If there was an adult version of the Tully Monster that lived in freshwater, then it should have been found in the freshwater Braidwood fauna of Mazon Creek; however, Tully Monsters are only known from the marine Essex fauna. The Tully Monster doesn't even resemble the LNM that much, lacking the many humps often reported, having no flippers, the noticeable transverse bar with eyes that should be reported but hasn't ever been, the elongated claw really wouldn't really be mistaken for a small head and the proboscis wouldn't be held vertically anyway.  The Tully Monster actually makes even less sense than a plesiosaur, mostly because it would never have to surface, it was at maximum a foot long, it was strictly marine, and it has been extinct for almost 240 million years more. I would safely say that it is impossible that the LNM represents a surviving Tully Monster.

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1 hour ago, seeder said:

 

the hammerhead has eyes on stalks, sort of......  but Im not claiming anything

p037p15v.jpg

The Tully Monster is some kind of invertebrate, so not a close relative of sharks.

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