Saturday, September 11, 2010

Question of the Week: Was a dead plesiosaur found near New Zealand?

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September 11, 2010

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Q: Was a dead plesiosaur found near New Zealand?

A: In April 1977, the Japanese fishing trawler Zuiyo-maru operating off the coast of New Zealand snagged a large carcass at a depth of about 1,000 feet. The carcass was brought to the surface and onto the ship. The dead creature was about 33 feet long and weighed about 4,000 pounds.
The ship's company was unsure about the identity of the carcass, and ultimately, no one could identify it for certain. The captain did not want this rotting creature on the ship for fear of spoiling the fish catch, so he decided to release it back into the sea. One of the crew had a few minutes to examine the creature. He took a few photographs and even managed to obtain pieces of horny fiber from an anterior fin. Then the carcass was returned to the sea.
Upon returning to Japan, the tale was related to company officials, and the photographs were examined. A press conference was held to announce the finding, leading to widespread coverage of the discovery of this "sea monster." Several scientists in Japan strongly suggested that the creature was, in fact, a plesiosaur. Other scientists were less enthusiastic about this identification, and stated so publicly.
In creationist circles, this news was greeted with great enthusiasm. What could be more exciting than finding evidence of an allegedly extinct species still alive today! Far and wide, creationists proclaimed that a plesiosaur had been found. That rallying cry continues to this day.

What did they really find? Was it a plesiosaur? Does it really matter? Continue reading take a closer look.

News to Note Quick Look

What was the hobbit?: The hobbit of Indonesia are back in the news again, and this time, the spotlight is again on scientists who think the hobbits were fully human. Read more.

Did we descend from metals?: Whether it's mica sheets or meteorites (or both), evolutionists have come up with theory after theory—most untestable, all unproven—about how life on earth got started. Here's the latest. Read more.


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