The netting by the crew of a Japanese trawler of the decomposed body of a so far unidentified sea animal has fuelled speculation that plesiosaurs -- a species of dinosaur believed extinct more than 70 million years ago -- may still exist.
GV Pacific Ocean (3 shots)
MV PAN (STILL) Carcass of sea creature lying on deck of ship.
MV ZOOM OUT (STILL) Carcass of sea creature strung up on rope. (2 shots)
GV Pacific Ocean
MV PAN STILL Of shark and drawing of sea creature.
GV PAN STILL OF Seals and drawings of sea creature.
CU STILL Drawing of sea creature.
GV Loch Ness with ship. (2 shots)
MV Driver jumping into water watched by crew on deck. (3 shots)
MV STILL Alleged photograph of Loch Ness monster. (B & W)
MV Fisherman drag coelacanth into boat. (3 shots) (B & W)
MV INT. Scientists lift coelacanth out of box and place on table.
MV Side fin of coelacanth being examined by scientists.
MV Dorsal fin of coelacanth being examined.
MV PAN Scientists measuring coelacanth.
Initials VS 18.30
STILLS COURTESY OF THE TAIYO FISHERY COMPANY, JAPAN
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The netting by the crew of a Japanese trawler of the decomposed body of a so far unidentified sea animal has fuelled speculation that plesiosaurs -- a species of dinosaur believed extinct more than 70 million years ago -- may still exist.
SYNOPSIS: The crew of the Japanese trawler "Zuiyo Maru" picked up two-ton dead "monster" last April from 300 metre (1,000 feet) deep waters off Christ church, New Zealand. However, the crew threw the carcass back after examining it, saying it smelt so foul.
The long-necked, bat-winged creature measured 10 metres (32 feet) long. It was described as having four large red fins, a 1.5 metre (five foot ) neck and a two metre (nearly seven foot) tail. The carcass was covered by fat, except for the skull, while the back had traces of red flesh. No internal organs remained. After taking these photographs, the crew took samples from a fin for examination by Japanese scientists. They then threw the carcass back into the sea.
Professor Shigeru Kimura of Tokyo Fishery University who examined the specimens said pieces of the monster contained traces of a protein found on blue sharks, but it could not be determined whether it really was a shark or an ancient reptile.
The trawler crew nicknamed their monster "Nessie" after another well-known, if rarely seen, creature, the Loch Ness monster. There's speculation that the two are related. The Japanese have also been interested in the Loch Ness monster, but this expedition in September, 1973, failed to find positive evidence. "Nessie" has been said by many people to be a plesiosaur, trapped in the lich long ago.
Scientists have been wary of stating that ancient sea creatures don't exist ever since the discovery of the coelacanth. This fish first appeared about 350,000,000 years ago and was thought to have died out about 60,000,000 years ago. But the first living coelacanth was caught near East London, South Africa, in 1938, and since then several have been caught near the Comoros Islands, like this one. Coelacanths have remained almost unchanged since their origin, and scientists have learned much about early life from them.