back to article Gigantic KRAKEN fingered in prehistoric murder mystery

Staring at a pile of fossilised ichthyosaur bones in the famous Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada, paleontologist Mark McMenamin had a sudden insight. It occurred to him that he might have cracked the great mystery of this ancient Triassic site. He reckoned that the carefully lined-up bones of the ichthyosaurs, of the …

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  1. Pete Rowley
    FAIL

    Really?

    Please don't promote this kind of shit press-release regurgitation nonsense. The guy has a track record of 'imaginitive' interpretations based on a complete lack of evidence, and this is no different. he has not a shred of evidence. As Sagan said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", and this has none. I would go off on a rant, but it's already been done for me:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/10/the-giant-prehistoric-squid-that-ate-common-sense/

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      It is not that imagintive

      Some octopus species are known to play with various objects and "align" them into shapes. So that idea is not far fetched. The other parts however are.

      1. The beak of an octopus that big will slice through vertebrae like razor through butter. If these were indeed victims of a kraken like creature where are the traces?

      2. Large carnivorous invertebrates have to be pelagic as the Colossal and Architetis today. There is no way they can get their food by sitting in one place on the sea bottom. Pelagic animals do not bring their food to one place. They do not play with the carcass after it is done either. They eat it where they get it and get on.

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Evidence for the existence of this kraken?

    Show us a photo of a fossilised playmobile kraken or it didn't happen.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      Coat

      There's actually a (non-playmobil) video. If I remember correctly it's called mega-shark vs giant octopus.

      (WARNING - could contain fictitious parts)

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    I've got a better one!

    Theory that is (what were you thinking?)

    Clifford - the Big Red Dog did it with a little help from Emily Elizabeth... and there's a damn sight more evidence for my theory than Mark McMenamin's theory.

  4. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Alert

    Cthulhu the artist?

    As title...

  5. amanfromearth
    FAIL

    Massive fail by the reg journalist

    Regurgutating press releases without investigating the story at all.

    You need to be fired.

    1. Chris007
      FAIL

      upvoted before I read your last line

      No need to be fired - but checking the veracity of a story should always be carried out.

      icon for me for not reading the whole post before upvoting!

  6. Svantevid

    Too bad both Sagan and Feynman are dead... they would horsewhip McMenamin out of the country.

  7. Andy 4
    IT Angle

    Jeebus

    It was SO intelligent that it thought "I'm soft bodied so I won't leave a fossil - I know, I'll arrange these post dinner bones into a montage of myself to prove I existed".

    Presumably then it sat down wearing a few slippers smoking a pipe and read the pre-historic Sunday Sport.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Soft bodied animals can leave fossils

      Google will find you pictures (non-playmobil) fossil squids:

      http://cephalove.southernfriedscience.com/?p=432

      Looks like giornalista intentorem inhibens is an endangered species.

  8. MontaraMike
    WTF?

    Beaks!

    Where are the beaks?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Boffin

      My thoughts exactly.

      Something that size would have a massive beak. Not only would you expect to find these fossilised, if such a creature had killed these prey, you'd expect to find marks on the bones from the razor-sharp beak.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Beaks

        Squid are very poorly preserved in the fossil record as it is, and something this big would be extremely rare anyway, so the chance of finding a beak is practically zero. As a similar comparison, there are no more than six spinosaur skeletons known in the whole world - and that managed to get a starring role in the REALLY bad Jurassic Park sequel.

        And to the author; squid and octopuses (the preferred plural) are not only in different orders, but different superorders and shouldn't be used interchangeably - at least not unless the recipe says so.

  9. Adam White
    Thumb Up

    Most things don't survive fossilisation

    Good article though.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Death is pretty much a prerequisite.

      Unless daytime TV hosts are included.

  10. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Gigantic kraken?

    That sucks!

  11. Silverburn
    Joke

    Giggidy

    Giant kraken fingered...

    Giggidy giggidy

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Paris Hilton

      Fnarr Fnarr Shurley

      wrong icon as well......

  12. Naughtyhorse

    obvious bollocks!

    to start with the earth is only 6000 years old....

    oh hang on a second :-)

    would be fun if it was true though - guess we'll never know

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Well even if the reporting is slipping, at least the commentards aren't. Thanks guys - I had seen this story covered in a few other places but had not realised it had no real basis.

    El Reg go sit on the naughty step. I expect better from you!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find it odd that people think that the Reg reporter is promoting this. I don't recall reading anything that made the story anything other than an amusing report of some crazy scientist's ramblings.

  15. Full Mental Jacket
    WTF?

    National Geographic commentator

    I was expecting serious David Attenborough style narration. Why does he sound like he is doing a voiceover for Sesame Street?

  16. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Coat

    So I guess nobody

    wants to welcome are hyper-intelligent qiant kraken overlords?

    I'll have mine sliced, battered, and deep fried (and with garlic sauce)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > The Berlin Icthyosaur Death Assemblage

    ....that's a cool name for a band.

    1. Armando 123

      *golf clap* Bravo! Sir and/or madam, you have given me a new favorite fake band name. You now may freely use my former favorite, Pontias Pilate and the Nail Drivers.

  18. Jellied Eel Silver badge
    Coat

    Broken ribs and twisted necks?

    Chuck Norris can time travel. That'll teach those Icthyosaurs to interrupt his swim.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Chuck Norris can't time travel

      He just kicks the Earth into the future.

  19. some vaguely opinionated bloke
    Joke

    Perhaps...

    ... the Kraken to which the arrangement should be credited has never been found in fossilised form because...

    ... it's still alive and out there somewhere...

  20. WonkoTheSane
    Alien

    The first comment made when this story hit Slashdot?

    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"

    1. Armando 123

      "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

      ..... "I will not buy this record, it is scratched." I think I bought the wrong phrasebook.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        translates as.....

        My gigantic kraken is full of hovercrafts

  21. Chris Pollard
    IT Angle

    Almost...

    ... Megashark vs Giant Octoupus.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Glad i wasn't the only one...

      ... who was asking myself

      "Did Nat Geo make that very ropey movie Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus?"

      (it was good for a good laugh though).

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Pete Rowley

      Not quite that simple as the sediments they're in are very fine grained, and inferred to be deepwater

    2. stucs201
      FAIL

      RTFA

      Go re-read paragraph 4 of the article....

  23. Stevie Silver badge

    Aiee!

    I repeat: Aiee!

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