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Ancient Krakens Making Self-Portraits?

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the not-sexting-but-octing dept.

Science 135

First time accepted submitter Sanoj writes "Strange patterns of ichthyosaur bones have been found on an ancient deep-water seabed. One paleontologist has put forward the theory that these could have been the work of giant cephalopods who were eating the swimming dinosaurs and then arranging the vertebrae to resemble their own tentacles. Sound far-fetched? Apparently, the modern octopus also does this."

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Not self-portraits... (5, Funny)

Millennium (2451) | about 3 years ago | (#37678152)

The researchers are totally off base here. These aren't self-portraits; they're writing. When transliterated into the Roman alphabet, they read "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

Re:Not self-portraits... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678422)

...next to which a fairly large asteroid impact crater, implying the message "don't you dare to paste any Perl here", is found. :P

Re:Not self-portraits... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 years ago | (#37678510)

The researchers are totally off base here. These aren't self-portraits; they're writing. When transliterated into the Roman alphabet, they read "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

Linguists have managed to translate that writing. It means, "This space has been intentionally left blank."

Re:Not self-portraits... (2)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 3 years ago | (#37678894)

No, it means "Lose weight now. Ask me how.".

Re:Not self-portraits... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 years ago | (#37679104)

Man, I miss the subluxation ads.

Re:Not self-portraits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37680066)

"This space has been intentionally left blank."

If I had a death star that is what I would write in the place where Alderaan was.

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678196)

I, for one, welcome our new sea-born cephalopodoid overlords.

Re:Obligatory xkcd (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 3 years ago | (#37678442)

Re:Obligatory... (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | about 3 years ago | (#37678556)

I, for one, welcome our ancient sea-born cephalopodoid overlords.

Fixed that for you.

Silurian (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 3 years ago | (#37678202)

I think it is evidence that a historical race known as the Silurian that had culture and art really did exist in that time. Ask the doctor.

Re:Silurian (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | about 3 years ago | (#37680012)

No way, these are clearly Sea Devils, not Silurians.

scarecrow (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37678224)

I'm not thinking making a homemade scarecrow is a positive evolutionary adaptation.
So there must be some other bonus. Attract a mate?

Re:scarecrow (1)

slim (1652) | about 3 years ago | (#37678382)

I'm not thinking making a homemade scarecrow is a positive evolutionary adaptation.

Why not? Scarecrows are useful.

I can well imagine an organism creating artifices that deter competitors from feeding on its food source.
I can also well imagine the intermediate steps in the evolution of such an adaptation.

Re:scarecrow (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37678686)

From the point of view of the prey, a scarecrow isn't a good idea.

If corn could walk and talk, it would sound something like "we gotta get the heck away from this straw dude before the meat dude eats us"

Re:scarecrow (1)

slim (1652) | about 3 years ago | (#37678822)

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. From the point of view of a shrew, an owl's talons aren't a good idea.

Hypothetically, a squid self-portrait could frighten off, say, shrimp-eating fish, without frightening off shrimp -- e.g. if the fish had better eyesight than the shrimp, or the shrimp were more smell-oriented, etc.

Re:scarecrow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678522)

Every action does not need to have a direct evolutionary benefit. For example humans still have sex long after they have lost their reproductive ability.
Some mammals play for no known reason. (Otters slide down into water just to run up and reepat the action.)

Evolution does not optimize away unnecessary traits, only those that hinders reproduction. If making scarecrows doesn't prevent reproduction then it can occur as a mutation and stay.

Re:scarecrow (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37678872)

Every action does not need to have a direct evolutionary benefit. For example humans still have sex long after they have lost their reproductive ability.

Not seeing the logic there of no direct benefit, or not seeing any proof that it provides a net no benefit. Can't do it long distance so sex means the partners stick together. Keeping parents around and together and thinking about kids, even if they can't have more kids, clearly increases offspring (and offspring of offspring) survival rate... If you postulate the maternal instinct would keep ma around, then ma keeps pa around, and pa drags home the occasional wolly mammoth for the (grand)kids to eat, its pretty hard to argue the grandkids would be better off without the wise old hunter..

Or just tribal cohesion. Old hunters and old gathers obviously are the most experienced in their craft, not a huge jump to assume they'd be the best at their craft, and you need some "lure" to get them to hang around the young idiots and keep the fools alive until the fools are the wise old people... The traditional brains vs brawn teamwork is not necessarily the only possible partnership. The old guy who can bag a mammoth whenever he wants or the old lady who knows all the hidden berry bushes don't technically need the rest of the tribe, but if they pair up, at least the old couple has something fun to do around the campfire at night.

Re:scarecrow (1)

lolcutusofbong (2041610) | about 3 years ago | (#37678900)

Actually, it's been theorized that menopause is an evolutionary trait designed to give us helpful, caring grandmothers. I belive orcas are another species that do this.

Re:scarecrow (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 3 years ago | (#37679552)

It's more likely to prevent the addition of tons of offspring with Down's. The chances of mentally disabled kids skyrocket as mothers enter their 40s. Quite frankly I think it's irresponsible to have children at such at age since the likelihood of Down's approaches one in twenty.

Re:scarecrow (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 years ago | (#37681428)

It's more likely to prevent the addition of tons of offspring with Down's.

Which would be an example of that "group selection" you so confidently stated was "debunked" a couple of posts ago.

Re:scarecrow (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 3 years ago | (#37679478)

Evopsych != natural selection. People really need to stop imagining that all the complex social shit has a demonstrable effect on allele composition and effect. Turning off geriatric sex drive would simply have to have a greater positive effect on reproduction than a negative one. Apparently it doesn't, and in fact no post-fertility behavior can impact genetic traits downstream except where it involves the care for the young (which by extension includes survivability).

Group selection has been debunked. Only genes that reproduce have effects. The end.

Re:scarecrow (1)

slim (1652) | about 3 years ago | (#37679548)

Group selection has been debunked. Only genes that reproduce have effects. The end.

How do you account for the existence of non-breeding worker ants?

Re:scarecrow (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 3 years ago | (#37679736)

You're conflating kin selection with group selection. Beyond that, far as I'm concerned all the sterile offspring of an ant queen are for most intents and purposes extensions of the queen as a superorganism. The sterile workers don't have a separate existence, and are almost as much a part of the queen as another animal's armor or other biological adaptation.

Re:scarecrow (1)

slim (1652) | about 3 years ago | (#37679874)

But surely group selection is a weaker shade of the kin selection you're describing.

In a close-knit family, the grandmother is as much a part of the child "as another animal's armour or other biological adaptation". Albeit, the child has inherited (some of) its genes from the grandmother, rather than vice versa.

To look at it from a Selfish Gene perspective, the gene for "protect your grandchild" is increasing its own chances of being reproduced, by protecting a vessel that contains instances of itself.

Whether that's enough to explain the menopause, I dunno. But I'm certain that 'protect your descendants' is a evolutionary adaptation that benefits the gene.

Re:scarecrow (1)

joss (1346) | about 3 years ago | (#37680618)

The word "debunked" is amazingly powerful. A lot of people seem to think that using it ends all discussion or possible dissent (even without references or anything). In a world where its virtually impossible to get a definitive answer on anything without plausible opposing opinions, its amazing how often it works.

Re:scarecrow (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 years ago | (#37680938)

Parent just debunked the myth that debunking something prevents further discussion. Discuss.

Re:scarecrow (1)

Darby (84953) | about 3 years ago | (#37681150)

What does it say about society that if you advocate legalizing almost everything you'll be labelled a conservative?

Nothing about society. It says about you that you're completely delusional. The right wingers/ conservatives are the police staters by definition.

What are the names of the forms of right wing government that have existed?
Fascism, Nazism, Feudalism.

Yeah sparky, that's all about everything being legal all right...but only for the elite... including murdering the peons at will.

The ignorance of people these days, I mean "conservative" means "opposed to liberalism". Liberalism is the principle upon which the US was founded.
WW2 was a showdown between Liberalism and the Left on one side (Allies) versus the Right ( the axis).

How soon people piss in the face of the sacrifices of their grandparents because the new Nazis tell them to on the idiot box.

Re:scarecrow (1)

Exitar (809068) | about 3 years ago | (#37678848)

Scarecrows? Those were baits!

Everyone is missing the real reason... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37678248)

Cthulhu. He controls the.... ahh!
.
.
.
Vote Cthulhu 2012. Vote early, vote often.

Re:Everyone is missing the real reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678392)

Vote Cthulhu 2012. Vote early, vote often.

Why settle for the lesser of two evils when you can choose the greatest evil of all.

Re:Everyone is missing the real reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678436)

Too late--Palin's already dropped out of the race.

Re:Everyone is missing the real reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37679802)

Vote Cthulhu 2012. Vote early, vote often.

No More Years! [cthulhu-2012.com]

Hm? (3, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37678298)

> Apparently, the modern octopus also does this."

What, eat ichthyosaurs? No wonder you don't see too many of them around anymore.

Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37678306)

Is anyone else disturbed a little by the paleontologist in this article actually calling this thing a "Kraken"? Look I know that may be the cute nickname they use in the office, but it seems a little tawdry for a supposedly serious researcher to use the name of a mythological creature in a public context. Makes me think this guy is a PR-whore looking to promote his work with sensationalism. What's next, someone finding a new type of dinosaur and calling it a "Dragon"?

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678336)

Hey, it IS Slashdot remember, where pop-references and buzzwords are the news, and actual science is idle.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 3 years ago | (#37678406)

lol, even better typo in TFA: "Kraken of kegend" [sic]

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678428)

Yeah, why cant they call it "Tyrant Lizard King" or something boring?

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (4, Informative)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 3 years ago | (#37678438)

"And, says McMenamin, there is one modern predator that does exactly this - the octopus. He suggests that the remains may indicate the existence of a giant octopus, similar to the Kraken of kegend."

I'm surprised their spell-checker didn't catch the mis-spelling of "legend", but my point is that he's talking about the possible existence of an undiscovered animal. If it hasn't been discovered, it hasn't been given a name, so it makes sense to compare it to something people can relate to. An octopus has no bones, so I'm not sure what kind of fossils we'd be able to find from an ancient giant octopus. Maybe a giant beak?

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (3, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37678740)

The Kraken of Keg End sounds like a long-lost Discworld novel.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (2)

wintercolby (1117427) | about 3 years ago | (#37679718)

The Kraken has resurfaced from the depths of the abyss, where it's boneless body is impervious to the immense pressure of the deep, only to devour a cruise ship . . . JUST FOR THE BEER!

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37678802)

Yeah, except later on he says "I think that these things were captured by the kraken," which is a little different than merely COMPARING it to one.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 3 years ago | (#37681658)

I disagree. If I was writing an article like that, I would give it a temporary pseudonym to avoid awkward wording every time I needed to refer to the animal. If I was speaking aloud, I would be even more likely to do it to avoid dragging the conversation out longer than necessary. It would be both painful to write and painful to read a phrase like "this hypothetical animal with properties similar to the mythical kraken" fifty times. Since I'm not a lawyer, I wouldn't feel the need to bu ultra-clear by explicitly stating that "from here on out, this document will refer to this unnamed animal as a kraken". It's already implied, IMO.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 3 years ago | (#37680244)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcosmus [wikipedia.org]

Though I agree, similar to the Kraken of Legend is probably more appropriate.

KDE user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37680486)

I'm surprised their spell-checker didn't catch the mis-spelling of "legend"

Kraken? Kegend? I suppose the kauthor is a full-blown KDE user.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (4, Insightful)

RKThoadan (89437) | about 3 years ago | (#37678468)

No, I'm very pleased with his ability to communicate in a way that is perfectly understandable to normal people. I don't see you complaining about his using the term "octopus" which is just as much a nickname as "kraken" since neither of them is the scientific name of the animal in question.

If someone discovers a large dinosaur that matches any of the various representations of dragons through the ages I'd have absolutely no problem with them calling by that name.

To be less snarky about it: Communicating scientific information to the public and to the press is always a tricky endeavor and there is a balance to be found between speaking 90% latin and between super-sensationalism. I thought this article struck a decent balance between the two.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37679174)

We have a big man-eating lizard on the planet called a "Dragon" already, and nobody who has seen one up close is bitching about it. They are too busy either running, shooting, or dying.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 3 years ago | (#37680578)

Or greeting him at parties.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37678482)

Kraken is a common way to refer to giant cephalapods, distinguishing them from non-giant ones easily.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (4, Interesting)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#37678704)

A "Kraken" is not necessarily large. Even if it is just the size of my fist it is a Kraken. And you parent is not correct either, Octopus is an ordinary word to describe a Kraken, the other thing is a Calamar. Yes, those names likely are not "scientific", but this are the names comonly used by *germans* and I guess in other languages as well. So the most logical conclusion is: the original author is a non native english speaker and used words from his own language and "enlified" them.
Just google: http://www.google.de/search?q=picture+Krake+Paul [google.de]

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37678524)

What's next, someone finding a new type of dinosaur and calling it a "Dragon"?

*cough* Dracorex hogwartsia [wikipedia.org] *cough*

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37678854)

See, this is why we shouldn't let kids name dinosaurs. It's the same way we ended up with the Dinosaurus Awesomous Timberlakeous back in the 90's.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (0)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 3 years ago | (#37678904)

You need to get laid more.

Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 3 years ago | (#37680674)

Is anyone else disturbed a little by the paleontologist in this article actually calling this thing a "Kraken"?

Naw, I'm sure there are others who get in a tiff over their perception of what constitutes "serious" naming despite there being no basis in reality for their nitpicking.

This notion you seem to have that biological names must be completely serious, and therefore that using the names of mythological creatures is verboten in serious biology, is something you picked up somewhere other than in the context of real, serious biology. Which means you and everyone else who is disturbed should just get over yourselves.

What's next, someone finding a new type of dinosaur and calling it a "Dragon"?

Too late -- they already found the largest living lizard and called it the Komodo Dragon [wikipedia.org] . You got a problem with that name?

Or how about some other mythological names in biology just off the top of my head:
Hydra [wikipedia.org]
Chimera [wikipedia.org]

If they find more evidence for pre-historic cephalopods of great size (greater than the giant and gargantuan squids of today), I think calling them Kraken is a great idea. Especially since rare sightings of giant squid were almost certainly the source of the Kraken legend in the first place.

Simpler Explanation Than Self-Portrait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678310)

If the cephalopod was placing one sucker on each vertebrae in some sort of play behavior, a pattern like the sucker pattern on the tentacles would have arisen without this being a self-portrait. Play, while an intelligent activity, is found in animals that do not show evidence of being self-aware.

My theory... (4, Funny)

Bicx (1042846) | about 3 years ago | (#37678394)

A normal-sized octopus arranged these vertebrae into a giant tentacle pattern just to freak out everyone

Re:My theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37681356)

lol

Re:My theory... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37681866)

A normal-sized octopus arranged these vertebrae into a giant tentacle pattern just to freak out everyone

A normal-sized JAPANESE octopus arranged these vertebrae into a giant tentacle pattern just to freak out everyone.

Fixed it for you.

Science is Awesome (5, Interesting)

ideonexus (1257332) | about 3 years ago | (#37678420)

This is why Science is so $#@%ing awesome. As Samuel Clemens put it best, “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such trifling investment of fact.” This will be a very tough hypothesis to sell, but the researcher says his evidence is ready to take on all skeptics.

There are incredible stories waiting to be revealed in the fossil record and stories we have already uncovered. There's the footprints of Austrolopithecus, which were preserved in volcanic ash, large and small, male and female, close together as if they were huddling--perhaps the male had his arm around his mate, and the female's footprints lopsided as if she were carrying an infant. Imagine what it was like for them, walking fearfully across a landscape raining ash from a distant volcano... This story is drawn in this famous diorama [flickr.com] .

Or the Taung child [si.edu] , whose skull bares the scars of an eagle attack. The child was carried away by a bird of prey. A story both fantastic and tragic at once.

Or the stories of Homo erectus , who was the velociraptor of our human ancestors. She was a total badass, which is why I love this statue of her [flickr.com] at the Smithsonian Hall of Human Origins carrying a rotting caribou carcass across the Serengeti.

Science has thousands of these stories that we have already discovered, and an infinite supply of them in store for us if we keep exploring. Knowing this, I simply don't understand how people can be so impressed with a book covering a few hundred years of human history and consider it sacred. The sacred is all around us, written in the natural world waiting for us to read it.

Re:Science is Awesome (1)

Myopic (18616) | about 3 years ago | (#37678666)

Science is awesome, but keep in mind this disparaging note on the "scientist's" Wiki page: He has earned the nickname McMinimal from his colleagues due to the perceived poor quality of his research, such as suggesting that Agnostids are cannibals and claiming that the Kraken was a real beast..

Still, to me those sure look like discs purposefully arranged into tentacle patterns.

Re:Science is Awesome (3, Interesting)

Colin Douglas Howell (670559) | about 3 years ago | (#37680384)

Science is awesome, but keep in mind this disparaging note on the "scientist's" Wiki page: He has earned the nickname McMinimal from his colleagues due to the perceived poor quality of his research, such as suggesting that Agnostids are cannibals and claiming that the Kraken was a real beast..

Whatever you think of this professor's hypothesis, that note was added just hours ago [wikipedia.org] by an anonymous IP editor, without any references. It has since been removed [wikipedia.org] , rightly so.

Re:Science is Awesome (5, Informative)

Colin Douglas Howell (670559) | about 3 years ago | (#37680702)

Some other, rather more reliable indications that this guy may indeed be full of crap:

Brian Switek's commentary on the story on his Laelaps palaeontology blog [wired.com]

P. Z. Myers' view of the story on his Pharyngula blog [scienceblogs.com]

Discussion of the story on an archive of geologists' conversations on Twitter [tumblr.com]

The professor's own profile page [mtholyoke.edu] , which shows he has quite a history of making far-reaching claims.

Re:Science is Awesome (1)

Myopic (18616) | about 3 years ago | (#37681794)

Ha! Thank you for first pointing out that my reliance on Wiki was naive, and then also for doing the research to prove that the unsourced Wiki slander might be rightheaded after all.

Me? I don't have an opinion on it. The guy's explanation for the bones sounds reasonable to me, because it jives with my understanding of octopuses as among the brightest species on the planet. Still, I don't normally put a hell of a lot of weight on what one scientist says.

Re:Science is Awesome (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 3 years ago | (#37680812)

claiming that the Kraken was a real beast..

Seems to me that the Kraken being a real beast -- specifically the Giant Squid -- is pretty much a given, just as it's a given that the stories sailors told about it were exaggerated as well. Not that it takes a lot exaggeration to make a 40+ ft long creature seem like a mythical monster. Pants-shitting fear will do that.

Re:Science is Awesome (1)

srvivn21 (410280) | about 3 years ago | (#37681300)

Or the stories of Homo erectus , who was the velociraptor of our human ancestors. She was a total badass, which is why I love this statue of her [flickr.com] at the Smithsonian Hall of Human Origins carrying a rotting caribou carcass across the Serengeti.

Just to be nit-picky, that looks more like an ibex [wikipedia.org] than a caribou [wikipedia.org] . The description of location (Serengeti, vs. tundra) is further confirmation.

It is not a theory (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 3 years ago | (#37678494)

It is a conjecture. In order for this to be a theory, there would have to be evidence the supposed "kraken" existed, which there isn't. Really, this scientist, and I am using the term loosely, is just begging the question.

Re:It is not a theory (1)

slim (1652) | about 3 years ago | (#37678576)

TFA doesn't use the word "theory" (well, it does, but in relation to a different hypothesis).

But, even if it did, "theory" in informal English usage, has pretty much the same weight and meaning as "conjecture" or "hypothesis". And "theory" is more commonly used, because, frankly, if you're not talking to a fellow scientist or writing a paper, it's just pretentious.

Just because ID proponents misrepresent the "theory" of evolution, doesn't mean we all have to abandon the common use of words.

Re:It is not a theory (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 3 years ago | (#37680022)

If scientists had not abandoned the scientific use of the word, it would be impossible for ID proponents to misrepresent the world "theory".

Re:It is not a theory (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37681132)

Stop wasting your time arguing about that, and if anyone says, "it's just a theory," respond with the short, "yeah, but it's a true theory." They will not be able to overcome this inane argument because theirs is even more inane.

Re:It is not a theory (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 years ago | (#37678864)

there would have to be evidence the supposed "kraken" existed, which there isn't

You wouldn't call Enteroctopus Dofleini [wikipedia.org] "evidence"? Existing specimens are commonly found with 14 foot long tentacles, one has been certified at 23 ft, and there are reports of specimens as long as 30ft. That last specimen would probably be large enough to take out a 45ft ictheosaur.

We know the order octopoda dates back that far, and they are carnivores. If placed in an environment where they had lots of available prey that large, it makes perfect sense that they would have evolved even more size. They certianly wouldn't have been smaller! Given that shell-free cephlapods don't exectly leave a good direct fossil record, finding a kill-bone arrangement that they are known to favor today is about the best you can ask for.

Re:It is not a theory (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 3 years ago | (#37680166)

No, I don't consider it as evidence because there is no evidence of it existing when the fossils were laid down.

They certianly wouldn't have been smaller!

Why not? Please explain in detail why they would not have been smaller, given that there may have been larger predators that would target larger shelless cephlapods. Oh, and let us not forget that smaller prey would have been more numerous.

Given that shell-free cephlapods don't exectly leave a good direct fossil record, finding a kill-bone arrangement that they are known to favor today is about the best you can ask for.

That is begging the question: The "kill-bone" arrangement was made by a "kraken". The kraken must have existed because the kill-bone arrangement exists." To put this in perspective "The universe was made by a god. The god must have existed because the universe is here." Do you see the problem with the logic now?

Re:It is not a theory (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 3 years ago | (#37680960)

"That is begging the question: The "kill-bone" arrangement was made by a "kraken". The kraken must have existed because the kill-bone arrangement exists." To put this in perspective "The universe was made by a god. The god must have existed because the universe is here." Do you see the problem with the logic now?"

Current octupos make some funny bone arrangements... Look, a giant bonne arangement that is similar to the current ones; must have been a giant actopus.

Quite a sane way of thinking.

Re:It is not a theory (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 3 years ago | (#37681444)

That does not follow. Some As make some Bs. There is something that looks like a B, therefore it was made by an unknown A. It might be sane, but it is not logical.

Re:It is not a theory (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 3 years ago | (#37681874)

You are forgetting: B is difficult to explain in another way. Now the conclusion follow from the 3 premisses.

Anyway, it is logical, but it doesn't mean it is right. Also, I don't know enough to judge if "Some As make Bs", "It looks like a B" and "B is difficult to explain in another way" are correct.

Re:It is not a theory (1)

cusco (717999) | about 3 years ago | (#37681068)

Heck, octopi eat sharks today, I don't see any reason to doubt they could have eaten an ictheosaur. If I could get to Youtube from here I'd link to the vid of the one at the Seattle Aquarium hunting and killing a shark after the tourists had left for the day. It's really quite fascinating to watch.

FKri5t stop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678506)

available to Creek, abysmal and committees for the state of that they c4n hold ransom for their

Not dinosaurs... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 years ago | (#37678540)

Ichthyosaurs are not dinosaurs. They are swimming reptiles and just like the pterosaurs and pleisiosaurs they are not dinosaurs. Calling an ichthyosaur a dinosaur is somewhat like calling a bat a rodent.

Re:Not dinosaurs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678824)

Deflader Mouse anyone?

Re:Not dinosaurs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37679014)

It's Die Fledermaus [wikimedia.org]

Re:Not dinosaurs... (1)

slim (1652) | about 3 years ago | (#37679110)

Woosh.

Re:Not dinosaurs... (1)

KillaBeave (1037250) | about 3 years ago | (#37680040)

Woosh.

Which ironically is the sound one of those flying rodent thingies makes as it flies right over your head ...

Buffalo Wild Ichthyosaurs (1)

DCheesi (150068) | about 3 years ago | (#37678664)

I'm not familiar with the bone-patterning behavior of the octopus. Are they going out their way to do it, or is it just that each tentacle leaves its own pile of bones? Kind of like the aftermath when you share a giant plate of wings at the local sports bar...

Re:Buffalo Wild Ichthyosaurs (1)

daid303 (843777) | about 3 years ago | (#37678986)

It's not strange that you are not familiar with the bone-pattering of the octopus. Because they don't have bones.

Geologists don't seemed thrilled by the media hype (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | about 3 years ago | (#37678772)

Blog post here [tumblr.com] .

Sorry, researcher may be full of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678804)

The headline is WAY more sensational than the actual information in the paper, which is full of "appears to" and "looks like" language. This guy also thinks America was discovered in 320 BC because of some scriling on ancient coins. He's also been knows to endorse various crackpots and conspiracy theorists.

No cephelepod evidence was found, no indication that one was involved. One fossil with an odd arrangement of bones may LOOK like tentacle suckers, but that's more likely paradolia than any real connection with an intelligent kracken.

NOT science! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37678852)

They also claim Ichthyosaurs are 245 million years old... that is clearly more than the 6000 years that have been verified by the Bible.

So this "Science" is just another cult attacking modern christian believes and I'll pray to god tonight that these "scientist" will burn in hell.

Octopuses create self portraits? (1)

AC-x (735297) | about 3 years ago | (#37678990)

I've never heard of octopuses rearranging bones to create art, nor can I find anything online about octopuses doing this, where are they getting this from?

Re:Octopuses create self portraits? (1)

corbettw (214229) | about 3 years ago | (#37679070)

If I had to guess, it would be their ass.

Re:Octopuses create self portraits? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37681248)

The term you are looking for is 'midden.' Do a search for octopus midden [google.com] and you will see what he is referring to. I don't think it counts as art though, unless you think a pile of stuff is art....

Re:Octopuses create self portraits? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37681938)

I don't think it counts as art though, unless you think a pile of stuff is art....

Careful. You just insinuated that an octopus could be a modern artist [wordpress.com]

Don't Play With Your Food, Kraken (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 3 years ago | (#37679348)

Based on the amount of evidence, I've constructed a "theory" that the Kraken's mother was named Celliphelia, and that she was constantly scolding the Kraken for playing with his food. Kraken was going through teen rebellious stage (normal for octopi which ate dinosaurs), and left home for a period but was lost in a plankton storm, and washed up on a remote island.

See? "Science" is amazing when you apply paleontology to boneless organisms! It opens an entire new career track for creative writing majors.

Are the Kraken loose again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37679444)

Goddammit, who went and released the Kraken?

Re:Are the Kraken loose again? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 years ago | (#37679644)

Goddammit, who went and released the Kraken?

Who? Who who who?
who went and released the Kraken?
Who? Who who who? ...

Just.. ugh (1)

squidflakes (905524) | about 3 years ago | (#37679962)

Mark McMenamin is well known in science circles as a crank, a woo woo practitioner, and a media hungry crack-pot.

While it is true that octopuses do build midden piles, there is absolutely no evidence that they are doing anything other than keeping their lairs clean and occasionally building walls to keep predators out.

Funny thing too, there are occasionally fossils of soft bodied creatures found, which is how we know that octopus and squid were around quite a long time ago. I would expect, if this were some sort of gigantic octopus lair, fossilized beaks, sucker rings, and other cephalopod body structures would have been found in the same area as the bones.

If we're going to indulge in a bit of science fiction and pretend that some giant squid or octopus was arranging bones in self-portraiture patterns, why would they make pictures of sucker clubs? Among the cephalopods that are social, communication is performed by shifting colors and changing patterns on the skin and kinesic and proxemic body language.

Bzzzzzt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37680128)

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/10/the-giant-prehistoric-squid-that-ate-common-sense.ars

Uwee hee hee! (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | about 3 years ago | (#37681322)

Don't tease the octopus, kids!

Kraken porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37681342)

My theory is a male Kraken arranged the bones to look like the tentacles of a female Kraken

(Using bones to get a bone, so to speak.) (OK, now this needs to be anonymous.)

The article is all BS ... (2)

hohonuuli (919750) | about 3 years ago | (#37681382)

Pretty much nothing is factually true in that 'research' other than that octopi live in the ocean. For example, modern octopi do NOT arrange bones into 'art' gardens as Mark McManmin asserts. Arstechica sums it up best with the article 'The giant, prehistoric squid that ate common sense' at http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/10/the-giant-prehistoric-squid-that-ate-common-sense.ars [arstechnica.com] The best quote from Ars is "We have a serious problem with science journalism. A big one, in fact, and today that problem takes the form of a giant, prehistoric squid with tentacles so formidable that it has sucked the brains right out of staff writers’ heads."
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