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Author Topic: Which Fish? #2  (Read 1219 times)

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Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Which Fish? #2
« on: April 01, 2008, 05:52:49 AM »





Poissons d'avril!

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Which Fish? #2
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 04:52:13 PM »
Many thanks to those who voted.  As noted in "Which Fish? #1," the "Which Fish?" posts were inspired by April Fools' Day.  Oh, and thanks to Vekseid, too, for tolerating my usage of Elluiki!

Thanks again!  I hope that you all had a wonderful April Fools' Day! :)

Spel



Edit: I had to insert a question mark to make "Which Fish #1" "Which Fish? #1."  Dang...
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 04:57:25 PM by Spel »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Which Fish? #2
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 08:57:36 PM »
I really can't picture refusing an order from the Helicoprion. Can you? I mean, those are some serious pearly whites there.

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Which Fish? #2
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 11:43:56 AM »
The Helicoprion situation always reminds me of one of the vignettes in the Monty Python's Flying Circus episode "Archaeology Today."  At the end of the opening credits of said episode, the "Monty Python foot" spontaneously crumbles.  Time passes; the pieces are lost to history.  Later, the foot's big toe is discovered and scientists try to reconstruct the beast from which it came.  They envision a wooly mammoth with a big toe where its trunk should be...*

The reality is that many extinct creatures are reconstructed using some pretty sparse evidence.  Poor Helicoprion is one of these.  He might not have looked much like he does in the "artist's conception" above...

That said, I for one would still take him seriously even if his teeth were growing out of his forehead.

Spel


* Isn't it cool that wooly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island until 1700 B.C.?

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Re: Which Fish? #2
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 01:58:27 PM »
I've noticed that artist's conceptions tend to be very ... generous. They don't seem to take into account whether the animals were endothermic, ectothermic, mammalian, avian, or other things that have to do with appearance. I mean, some of them are very, very good... and some of them are terrible. Not to mention that the skeletal evidence we have is not always the best, like you said. Like when paleontologists find pieces of multiple skeletons and try to make them into the same animal... or vice versa... it's pretty funny. The conceptions of how early hominids might have looked are kind of cool, though. Hobbit! (A. fiorensis, if I recall correctly... maybe florensis... damnit, need to look that up now...)

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Which Fish? #2
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008, 06:09:14 AM »
Mmm, indeed.  Not that I have a problem with employing one's imagination -- quite the opposite, in fact!  It's just that once an interpretation finds acceptance sometimes people begin to declare any alternative interpretations sacrilegious.  We can probably learn more about mankind from Eoanthropus dawsoni or Hesperopithecus haroldcookii than we can from Kenyanthropus platyops...

The specific issue with Helicoprion is that only its teeth remain -- after all, it was a cartilaginous fish.*  The theory goes that since its teeth most resemble those of edestoids, it must have generally resembled an edestoid itself.  Sadly, edestoids aren't very well represented in the fossil record, either.  Darn.  Anyway, yeah, maybe Helicoprion did look like


but maybe it actually looked like


or


or for all I know even


As for Homo floresiensis... oh, goodness, some of the artists' renditions were cool.  I like the now well-known


(Kind of odd, though, that the artist depicted him carrying what appears to be a Flores Giant Rat.  I mean, most scholars who believe that Homo floresiensis represents a distinct species also believe that it was subject to insular dwarfism.  Why, then, have him carrying a competing species that was subject to insular gigantism in the same place at the same time?  Wouldn't they have occupied more or less the same niche?  Maybe the rat should have had the guy slung over his shoulder, heh...)

On the other hand...


Yikes.  She's probably p.o.'d because Teuku Jacob vandalized her bones...

Spel



* Presumably, anyway, heh!  Maybe in truth it was a really neat goat.

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Re: Which Fish? #2
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2008, 04:29:07 PM »
The second-to-last picture is neat-o, but it looks to me more like A. afarensis (a.k.a. Lucy)... the last one is actually in my bio material this semester and it's my favourite of the pictures we have. :D

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Which Fish? #2
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 05:27:53 AM »
Don't suggest that he looks like Lucy!  He's very sensitive about his masculinity.  Being three feet tall and having a winkle that resembles a macaroni noodle might have something to do with it...

(In all seriousness: With regard to the picture, I'm just the messenger.)

I, too, like that last reconstruction.  John Gurche does great work, and I appreciate how difficult it must be for him to balance expectations with possibilities.  As a note, his website is here.  I recommend that you check it out if you've never done so! It's rather cool... :)

Spel