Sunday, October 16, 2011

i had been noticing 'buzz' on various geektastic blogs about fossil evidence for a cephalopod (octopus/squid-type thingie) bigger than a giant squid....we're talking mega-squid.  i finally tracked down the reference for it and it was a major wtf(?) moment:  is there real evidence like maybe fossilized sucker-hooks?  no.   how about fossilized beak?  no.  internal shell (a pen)?  no.  the authors, a married team from Mount Holyoke College in MA, 'hypothesize' that this doubleplus huge cephalopod existed because in a fossil bed in Nevada, 9 ichthyosaur skeletons appear 'juxtaposed' and the authors hypothesize that these fossils comprise a midden like some contemporary octopussies keep.   better still, since the skeletons are disarticulated and arranged and cephalopods have humongous brains and are quite intelligent then this ancient cephalopod was intelligent enough to arrange the carcasses of its kill 'artistically' in a self-portrait.
  i.   shit.   you.   not. 

here's a direct quote:

"The proposed Triassic kraken, which could have been the most intelligent invertebrate ever, arranged the vertebral discs in biserial patterns, with individual pieces nesting in a fitted fashion as if they were part of a puzzle. The arranged vertebrae resemble the pattern of sucker discs on a cephalopod tentacle, with each amphicoelous vertebra strongly resembling a coleoid sucker. Thus the tessellated vertebral disc pavement may represent the earliest known self‑portrait."  [emphases mine].

i submit a counter-hypothesis, them space-folks from Planet Neptune  who keep kidnapping and butt-diddlin' white-trash are the ones who did all that arranging and decorating!!  they've run out of ichthyosaurs and switched their artistic medium to 'crop-circles.'