Here’s the Skeleton

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Mr. Nature again.

Some of you don’t think Tanystropheus could have been real: there must have been some mistake in reconstructing it. Not an unreasonable suspicion. In fact, the first scientist to study the fossil, in the 19th century, reconstructed it as a flying reptile. He soon conceded that that was a mistake.

So here’s the skeleton. A number of Tanystropheus fossils have been found, all pretty similar, all with those crazy long bones which are now interpreted as neck bones, leaving us with an animal that’s very hard to understand.

If you can think of a better way to put these parts together, go for it.

9 comments on “Here’s the Skeleton

  1. Did it live in the water or on dry land? It would seem very difficult to balance a body like that on dry land, not to mention very awkward.

  2. Before the flood the earth was probably very plush with vegetation and trees. His long neck was for getting the good stuff at the top of the tall trees. He was probably the envy of the pygmies.

  3. Or then again, maybe what we’re finding are skeletons of long snakes (or other reptiles) that have swallowed small quadrupeds, the way a boa constrictor does. So the small body we see “attached” to the end of the “neck” is actually the not-yet-digested prey inside the tanywhatever. (Hey, my guess is as good as anyone else’s, it seems.)

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