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Kraken lair? Paleontologist identifies giant sea monster's bone heap.

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"No direct evidence of large cephalopods, in fact very little data at all, is problematic for proposing such a radical explanation," Glenn Storrs, curator of vertebrate paleontology at Cincinnati Museum Center, told LiveScience in an email. "Circumstantial evidence is not enough." Ichthyosaur vertebra pavements are known in shallow water settings elsewhere and the case for a deep water environment at Berlin-Storrs added, "On top of this, the specimens are not well preserved in their current setting, thus the arrangement, 'etching' and bone breakage may have alternate explanations. To my mind, this hypothesis is like looking at clouds - being able to see what you desire."

McMenamin presented his work Monday (Oct. 10) at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis.

Cause of death

Evidence for the kraken and its gruesome attacks comes from markings on the bones of the remains of nine 45-foot (14 meter) ichthyosaurs of the species Shonisaurus popularis, which lived during the Triassic, a period that lasted from 248 million to 206 million years ago. The beasts were the Triassic version of today's predatory giant squid-eating sperm whales.

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