Did Prehistoric Giant Squids Make Art From Bones?

octoIt sounds completly crazy. But it’s what a group of paleontologists are claiming — the first sentient beings on Earth to create art may not have been humans, but monstrously large, tentacled sea creatures called “kraken” who lived 200 million years ago and possibly arranged bones in geometric, decorative patterns. io9 explains further:

For decades, paleontologists have puzzled over a fossil collection of nine Triassic icthyosaurs (Shonisaurus popularis) discovered in Nevada’s Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. Researchers initially thought that this strange grouping of 45-foot-long marine reptiles had either died en masse from a poisonous plankton bloom or had become stranded in shallow water.

But recent geological analysis of the fossil site indicates that the park was deep underwater when these shonisaurs swam the prehistoric seas. So why were their bones laid in such a bizarre pattern? A new theory suggests that a 100-foot-long cephalopod arranged these bones as a self-portrait after drowning the reptiles. And no, we’re not talking about Cthulhu.

After considering the more brutal aspects of modern octopus predation, paleontologist Mark McMenamin of Mount Holyoke College came to the conclusion that the shonisaur remains had been deposited in a “kraken” lair by its massive, tentacled squatter:

We hypothesize that the shonisaurs were killed and carried to the site by an enormous Triassic cephalopod, a “kraken,” with estimated length of approximately 30 m, twice that of the modern Colossal Squid Mesonychoteuthis. In this scenario, shonisaurs were ambushed by a Triassic kraken, drowned, and dumped on a midden like that of a modern octopus. Where vertebrae in the assemblage are disarticulated, disks are arranged in curious linear patterns with almost geometric regularity.

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  • Calypso_1

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

    • Adam

      Ia! Ia Cthulhu!!!!

  • Calypso

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

  • Calypso

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

  • Anonymous

    Of course they did. What are you, stupid?

  • JoiquimCouteau

    Of course they did. What are you, stupid?

  • Anonymous

    Of course they did. What are you, stupid?

  • Anonymous

    200 million years? Obvious fantasy as all serious scientists know the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

  • Redacted

    200 million years? Obvious fantasy as all serious scientists know the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

    • John

      that is the dumbest post i have seen possibly all year u must be joking

      • Redacted

        You should learn how to spell before you go calling people dumb John.

        • Andrew

          Okay Dumb John.

          • Redacted

            Heathens!

          • Anarchy Pony

            Hey! That’s our word! You have no right using it.

          • Seygantte

            At first I thought you were just trolling. Now I’m not so sure…

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6QK2P26XU3VDHKP66Z324V6T2Q ~DaD

        I thought the post was hilarious… 

    • Anarchy Pony

      When you say “scientists” do you mean evangelicals?

      • Redacted

        I don’t know what that word means.

    • Calypso_1

      Those still quenched by their denial know not what the Great Old One’s Knew that He alone is the Gate in which Past, Present and Future are ALL ONE!   Yi nash Yog Sothoth he lgeb throdag YAHHHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! 

  • Adam

    Ia! Ia Cthulhu!!!!

  • John

    that is the dumbest post i have seen possibly all year u must be joking

  • John

    that is the dumbest post i have seen possibly all year u must be joking

  • Anonymous

    You should learn how to spell before you go calling people dumb John.

  • Anti-Citizen1

    When you say “scientists” do you mean evangelicals?

  • Andrew

    Okay Dumb John.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    This story is a  couple of weeks old, so I’ll just re-post my previous comment made elsewhere…

    Imagine the eldritch splendor of a colossal cephalopod sorting
    through the bones of its prey and using them to produce works of art
    that will go entirely unappreciated by any other creature until a chance
    discovery by an “alien” intelligence millions of years later. 

    The world is indeed an interesting place.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    This story is a  couple of weeks old, so I’ll just re-post my previous comment made elsewhere…

    Imagine the eldritch splendor of a colossal cephalopod sorting
    through the bones of its prey and using them to produce works of art
    that will go entirely unappreciated by any other creature until a chance
    discovery by an “alien” intelligence millions of years later. 

    The world is indeed an interesting place.

    • Nirvanasteve

      I’m just wondering what happened to these sentient kraken (kraki?). It is indeed fascinating (and as you say, ‘eldritch’) to think that we weren’t the first on this planet to develop self awareness.

    • Anarchy Pony

      How many of humanity’s works will last that long?

    • James Vance

      indeed, i remember seeing on a science channel that some scientists believe that cephalopods might make it to land in the vast future, they will act like many armed monkeys

  • Anonymous

    Heathens!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what that word means.

  • Little_green_chicken

    hehe cool
    read a book called ‘gilpin’s space’ by reginald bretnor, has stuff like this

  • Little_green_chicken

    hehe cool
    read a book called ‘gilpin’s space’ by reginald bretnor, has stuff like this

  • Callofcthulhu

    What I want is a giant prehistoric squid to eat all the corrupt politicians and wall streeters.  Nothing like massive skull crushing tentacles squeezing the life out of a body to convince them they are screwing everything up. 

  • Callofcthulhu

    What I want is a giant prehistoric squid to eat all the corrupt politicians and wall streeters.  Nothing like massive skull crushing tentacles squeezing the life out of a body to convince them they are screwing everything up. 

  • Nirvanasteve

    I’m just wondering what happened to these sentient kraken (kraki?). It is indeed fascinating (and as you say, ‘eldritch’) to think that we weren’t the first on this planet to develop self awareness.

  • olloloo

    I believe they are intelligent creatures, but I will not stop eating them.  *not a troll

    • Anarchy Pony

      The exact species in question has been extinct for millions of years…

  • olloloo

    I believe they are intelligent creatures, but I will not stop eating them.  *not a troll

  • Anti-Citizen1

    The exact species in question has been extinct for millions of years…

  • Anti-Citizen1

    Hey! That’s our word! You have no right using it.

  • Seygantte

    At first I thought you were just trolling. Now I’m not so sure…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6QK2P26XU3VDHKP66Z324V6T2Q ~DaD

    I thought the post was hilarious… 

  • Anti-Citizen1

    How many of humanity’s works will last that long?

  • http://www.amazon.com/NOTHING-MEN-ebook/dp/B005NTW7IQ Doug Brunell

    This does have Lovecraft written all over it.  Fascinating.

  • http://www.amazon.com/NOTHING-MEN-ebook/dp/B005NTW7IQ Doug Brunell

    This does have Lovecraft written all over it.  Fascinating.

  • Calypso

    Those still quenched by their denial know not what the Great Old One’s Knew that He alone is the Gate in which Past, Present and Future are ALL ONE!   Yi nash Yog Sothoth he lgeb throdag YAHHHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! 

  • Whatever

    Never mind the fact that there is no proof that such a creature ever existed. No fossils, nothing. But of course it has to be twice as long as the Colossal Squid, right? Why? Who decided this on no factual basis, whatsoever? Is there a group of scientists out there that are entitled special grants due to their extra chromosome. That’s my hypothesis.

    • Whatever. Again

      Oops. Forgot a ? after chromosome. Sorry to all you comment Nazis.

    • Butter Knife

      But… wild conjecture!

    • Pinky

      No fossils because no bones

  • Whatever

    Never mind the fact that there is no proof that such a creature ever existed. No fossils, nothing. But of course it has to be twice as long as the Colossal Squid, right? Why? Who decided this on no factual basis, whatsoever? Is there a group of scientists out there that are entitled special grants due to their extra chromosome. That’s my hypothesis.

  • Whatever. Again

    Oops. Forgot a ? after chromosome. Sorry to all you comment Nazis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Vance/100001631865236 James Vance

    indeed, i remember seeing on a science channel that some scientists believe that cephalopods might make it to land in the vast future, they will act like many armed monkeys

  • Anonymous

    It is very Nice art Making Drawing by the art student.
    http://ritzcameracoupon.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/options-for-right-tablet-pc/

  • Butter Knife

    But… wild conjecture!

  • Pinky

    No fossils because no bones

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc
  • Anonymous

    This is very Nice sound for Picture.
    http://lumberjocks.com/AdeleTurley

  • hoebywan

    Complete bollocks that formation is completely consistent with how the vertebrae would settle after the surrounding tissue had rotted away. No fossil evidence such as the beak was found of any squid. Get a life.

  • hoebywan

    Complete bollocks that formation is completely consistent with how the vertebrae would settle after the surrounding tissue had rotted away. No fossil evidence such as the beak was found of any squid. Get a life.

  • hoebywan

    Complete bollocks that formation is completely consistent with how the vertebrae would settle after the surrounding tissue had rotted away. No fossil evidence such as the beak was found of any squid. Get a life.

  • Dalkng

    Sounds like evidence for Cthulhu to me

  • Dalkng

    Sounds like evidence for Cthulhu to me

  • Dalkng

    Sounds like evidence for Cthulhu to me

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

    Let’s remember bower birds. Even if the ‘kraken’ did produce this ‘artwork’, its act of doing so could have a very basic survival/procreation explanation.

  • brookse32

    Let’s remember bower birds. Even if the ‘kraken’ did produce this ‘artwork’, its act of doing so could have a very basic survival/procreation explanation.

  • Henri Roquas

    If these ‘kraken’ really had shown this kind of behaviour, it would not have been unique. Recent male New Guinea’s bowerbirds has a remarkable mating behaviour, trying to attract a mating partner the males make a dance platform at which he will arrange objects of the same colour in complex patterns. 

  • Henri Roquas

    If these ‘kraken’ really had shown this kind of behaviour, it would not have been unique. Recent male New Guinea’s bowerbirds has a remarkable mating behaviour, trying to attract a mating partner the males make a dance platform at which he will arrange objects of the same colour in complex patterns. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Vance/100001631865236 James Vance

    no, but nice find

  • Sreybsrg

    the ancient old ones are returning

  • Sreybsrg

    the ancient old ones are returning

  • Sreybsrg

    the ancient old ones are returning