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Palaeontology

Loch Ness Monster 'plausible' after fossil discovery

By T.K. Randall
July 27, 2022 · Comment icon 34 comments



Not all plesiosaurs lived in the sea. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Roland Tanglao
The discovery that some plesiosaurs could have lived in freshwater has re-ignited the debate on Nessie.
The quintessential Loch Ness Monster sighting is typically that of a large, long-necked creature that appears as a head and neck (or a series of humps) protruding from the water.

Over the years this has led some to speculate that the creature could be a plesiosaur - a type of prehistoric aquatic reptile - as depicted by an oft-photographed model that can be found outside the Loch Ness Exhibition Center at Drumnadrochit on the western shore of the loch.

While many have played down this possibility (not least because plesiosaurs died out million of years ago and lived in the ocean), a new fossil discovery has recently added some renewed credence to the theory by suggesting that some plesiosaurs actually did live in freshwater.

Researchers at the University of Bath recently discovered the fossil remains of several small plesiosaurs that lived in a river system 100 million years ago in what is now the Sahara Desert.
The find indicates that these creatures lived in freshwater alongside crocodiles, fish, turtles and dozens of other species.

"We don't really know why the plesiosaurs are in freshwater," said study co-author Dr Nick Longrich.

"It's a bit controversial, but who's to say that because we paleontologists have always called them 'marine reptiles', they had to live in the sea? Lots of marine lineages invaded freshwater."

But does this mean that the Loch Ness Monster could be a plesiosaur ?

Probably not, but it certainly doesn't prove that it isn't.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (34)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #25 Posted by ThereWeAreThen 4 months ago
Yes but only if it goes through astral planes and a meter says so. Hope that helps. 
Comment icon #26 Posted by stereologist 4 months ago
I hear that the 5-headed shark in the movies could walk by pointing 4 of its heads downward.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Trelane 4 months ago
I think it has to do with human population of the northern hemisphere and the associated folklore.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Jon the frog 4 months ago
Marine reptiles breath at the surface and lay eggs on ground. Loch Ness was covered in ice until relatively recently... so they would have died anyway. The accessibility of the beast on the surface make them prime targets for hunter and lot of these would have been killed and stuffed for trophies a long time ago. So it's not a Plesiosaur.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 4 months ago
Meh. Unless they come up with something more tangible like eDNA, then forgedaboudit. 
Comment icon #30 Posted by stereologist 4 months ago
The eDNA study had this to say. https://www.cnet.com/science/scientist-reveals-loch-ness-monster-hunt-results/#:~:text=Loch Ness survey turns up a Nessie from,from different locations and depths around the lake.  
Comment icon #31 Posted by Dradan 4 months ago
It's interesting, but it's nowhere near proof, that such a creature existed in loch ness.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Oniomancer 4 months ago
A National Geographic article from the 90's on tepuis includes a brief account by a biologist of good standing who insists he saw something that looked like a mini plesiosaur in a stream atop one.
Comment icon #33 Posted by the13bats 4 months ago
Humans no matter who can and do make mistakes, i might believe he saw something but not a mini plesi, Here in florida are weird water creatures several times ive seen snapping turtles take on the look of a baby plesi.  
Comment icon #34 Posted by TripGun 3 months ago
What is a dinosaurs least favorite reindeer? Comet!


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