Mar
02
2008

Something awesome in the Arctic: the biggest sea monster ever!

Something like this: But fifty feet long, and not made out of colored pencils.
Something like this: But fifty feet long, and not made out of colored pencils.Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Every so often I tell myself, “JGordon, this is it. That was the last time. Never again shall you poop in your pants.”

And it seems a reasonable resolution, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m pretty much a grown man, and the time has long since passed for me to leave behind those childish things. Plus, I can’t keep buying pants at that rate. So I say, “Yes, JGordon, never again shall I do that,” and I walk out of the mall with a smile on my face.

And then paleontology goes and turns me into a liar. Two awesome new theropods discovered in Africa. Resolution gone. A pterosaur with a 40-foot wingspan. Lifetime ban from the public library. Now? Solid fossil evidence of the largest sea reptile ever recorded, a pliosaur fifty feet long. I won’t say exactly where I was when the, ah, full impact of the discovery hit me, but the pastor was not happy.

Anyway, the natural history of the world is now a little bit cooler. The partial skeleton of what is most likely an uncatalogued species of pliosaur was unearthed from a spectacularly productive fossil bed on Spitspergen, an island in the Arctic Svalbard chain. Portions of the animals snout, teeth, shoulder girdle, neck and back were found, as well as a nearly complete, 10-foot long flipper, enough remains to pretty definitively set the creature’s full length at about 50 feet. Other pliosaur remains have been discovered across the world that suggest sizes approaching that of the Svalbard specimen, but those are largely composed of isolated bones, and length estimates based on them may not be accurate.

Pliosaurs were marine reptiles (and so technically not dinosaurs) that lived in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, and became extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs did. They had large, “teardrop-shaped” bodies with long paddle like flippers, and massive, tooth-filled heads. The largest of them had jaws in the neighborhood of 9 feet, putting even the huge headed tyrannosaurs to shame. Their jaw muscles even outdid those of crocodiles, some of the most powerful biters to ever exist; large pliosaurs probably had three or four times more jaw muscles of crocodiles. A pliosaur like the Svalbard specimen, a plesiosaur paleontologists claims, “was big enough to pick up a small car in its jaws and bite it in half.”

It’s statements like that that are wasting away my clothing budget.

The fossil bed that the pliosaur came from continues to yield more marine reptile remains than any other excavation, including yet another partially uncovered pliosaur that may rival its neighbor in size.

Oh man.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Looks like Artifactor had posted a story on the Spitspergen, Svalbard site a while back.
I guess the monster pliosaur turned out to be even bigger than expected!

posted on Mon, 03/03/2008 - 12:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

jeff4truth

prof. hovind explains best I've seen how animals got to be so big while people were living on earth.
and where to find them in different places, alive, today.(of course this won't be on the news tonight. it wouldn't benefit the nwo)

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 9:36am
hmoob_muas's picture
hmoob_muas says:

what time was when this species still alive?

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 9:48am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

The Jurassic and Cretaceous, so between about 145 and 65 million years ago.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 8:21pm
flinch619's picture
flinch619 says:

thats bomb. im into dinosaurs but MARINE REPTILES are even more interesting, there are so many things we havent discovered living in the ocean today. just think what else is still buried down there from back in the day.

BOOYAKASHA!

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 9:51am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

flinch, I'm glad that you know where it's at. Don't get me wrong on dinosaurs, but it's time people give a little of what's owed to the marine reptiles: respect.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 8:23pm
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

i agree

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 9:55am
Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

Sometimes i think there's a sea monster, but i really don't think it's the way people portray it to be. ii {really} think its like a mutated snake and lizard or something
Have a great day

Sponsered in part by
IM AWESOME Productions

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 9:57am
Looney_Tooney's picture
Looney_Tooney says:

Dang!!!
I'd love to see the bones of this beastly water thing... :D

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:00am
Andy Korman's picture
Andy Korman says:

this reminds me of the Loch Ness monster. or the monster in Norway.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:05am
koallainfestation37's picture
koallainfestation37 says:

dang if i saw this when i went swimming or something
i think i would piss my pants
50 feet is too big

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:05am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Fortunately you'd be swimming, so probably no one would even notice. But why would you be wearing pants?

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 8:20pm
porscha2008's picture
porscha2008 says:

I DONT REALLY BELIVE IN THIS KINDA STUFF.......BUT WHEN I GO SWIMMING AND THERE IS SOMEONE UNDER ME OR SOMETHINR I GET SCARED BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THERE IS A MONSTER OR SOMETHING IN THE WATER I KNOW THAT I AM TO OLD TO FEEL LIKE THAT BUT THAT IS A FEAR THAT I HAVE ALWAYS HAD......

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:17am
andyshadexx's picture
andyshadexx says:

this is very interesting. I guess we could found more fossill in the artic or some where that reallty cold.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

jeff4truth

real cold? ... how about the congo of africa.. see hovind's free videos about the 'dinosaurs' the natives are afraid of TODAY,
and the one or 12 that the japanese fishermen caught!

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 6:14am
Jeff4real's picture
Jeff4real says:

Basking shark, yo. It was a basking shark. And dinosaurs izn't in the ocean, so fishermen can't be catchin them. No aquatic dinosaurs!
The Mokele Mbembembembe? That's true. And Dracula. Government is watching my house for years now, cuz I'm too brave to shut up about the Dracula threat.

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 10:08am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Y'know, it's really hard to hide a breeding population of dinosaurs...

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 1:33pm

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