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Still_human

American basilosaurus

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Still_human

American basilosaurus fossils were so common they started making furniture out of their bones. So why do they not show up anywhere???? It's only the African ones around. Anyone know anything about that furniture? And what happened to all the American basils???

 

*weird little factoid I think is cool. They're not 100% sure basilosaurus had a tail fluke/fin at all. I think its safe to say they definitely did, but there's never been any actual proof. No signs of a fluke have ever been found. again, I don't believe for a moment that they didn't have a tail fluke, I just think it's interesting to imagine them without. there aren't many animals that would look as natural with just a long tapering tail as basil.

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Bone guy
14 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

We've never discovered a complete natural megalodon jaw, so how can we prove that the "teeth" are actual shark teeth and not petrified dragon tongues?

Interesting theory....let me take a moment to let this sink in......

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Still_human

If u look it up, all the informational sites state that. Or at least like the 7 or 8 I looked at. They all say "a small tail fluke was probably present, although not preserved" and "suggests". The only actually evidence to a tail at all, is the structure of the end of the spine "suggests". Don't get me wrong, as I said above, I think it's safe to say they definitely did, but no, TECHNICALLY they can't say 100%, because there's no definitive proof. I'm not saying that to claim they don't, or even argue they don't, in fact if someone came out with an argument that they DIDNT, I would NEVER believe it....at least unless they somehow proved it. I just thought it was a cool thing to imagine, a tail flukeless basil.

that makes sense. That sucks if where they are is mostly unaccesable. That ticks me off so much! That actually just came up for me recently. a quarry site only a couple hours from me, that's known for being an anomolacaris hot spot, has been filled in and is now a suburban area. Imagine all those unknown species that are hiding there, but will never be found now! Not to mention all those anomolacaris that I would have found!!!!

and sadly ur probably right about the furniture. I'll bet there's still some that go around in garage sales, thrift shops and antique stores, but yeah, I think it would all come down to pure luck of running across any, cause by this time they probably have lost any knowledge of exactly what they are. They were particularly out west/ southwest, so I doubt I'd come across any on the east coast. But I figure it wouldn't hurt to send out some feelers. 

 

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ynot

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Bone guy
17 minutes ago, Still_human said:

Imagine all those unknown species that are hiding there, but will never be found now! Not to mention all those anomolacaris that I would have found!!!!

I always say if paleontology was started 100 years earlier we would have 20x the information we do now. Unfortunately a lot of the sites that yield amazing fossils will never be found because, well, most landowners don't trust a guy that wants to dig for dead stuff on their property...

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caldigger

And your fluke "proof" is built into an armchair in some attic.

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WhodamanHD

You can buy Archeocete teeth from the east coast every now and then. They are extremely rare. I’ve only met a few that have found them. And they did have tail flukes. @Macrophyseter I believe a associated Meg (as well as meg -ancestors dentitions) have been found, I know one guy whose found one. None are complete or even very close but they exist, and I would think it would be strange for a creature to have multiple tongues. But I see, get, and agree with your point:D

 

P.S. A similar question appeared with icthyosaur tails until soft body fossils were identified. It’s a common adaptation that has convergently evolved a few times

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Still_human
14 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

You can buy Archeocete teeth from the east coast every now and then. They are extremely rare. I’ve only met a few that have found them. And they did have tail flukes. @Macrophyseter I believe a associated Meg (as well as meg -ancestors dentitions) have been found, I know one guy whose found one. None are complete or even very close but they exist, and I would think it would be strange for a creature to have multiple tongues. But I see, get, and agree with your point:D

 

P.S. A similar question appeared with icthyosaur tails until soft body fossils were identified. It’s a common adaptation that has convergently evolved a few times

And yes, I, as most people do, KNOW that they had tail flukes. It's just that there haven't been any impressions found yet. Exactly! Exactly like ichthyosaurs! And like the "newly discovered" little downward tail thingee on mosasaurs. Everyone might know, they just know without having the physical preservation yet. 

And I think u might b onto something! Fossilized dragon tongues, eh? It all fits so perfectly now!

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Fossildude19
16 hours ago, Bone guy said:

I always say if paleontology was started 100 years earlier we would have 20x the information we do now. Unfortunately a lot of the sites that yield amazing fossils will never be found because, well, most landowners don't trust a guy that wants to dig for dead stuff on their property...

Most landowners don't like people digging up their property... :unsure: 

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Auspex
17 hours ago, Bone guy said:

...most landowners don't trust a guy that wants to dig for dead stuff on their property...

Um...It's their property. The right to have and protect private property is pretty much a founding principle to Western civilization.

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Haravex
21 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

Most landowners don't like people digging up their property... :unsure: 

Landowners are so grumpy when it comes to this stuff, no you can't dig up my garden or no you cant skinny dip in my pool or the best one no you cant eat the food in my fridge ...geez  :P 

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caldigger
1 hour ago, Haravex said:

Landowners are so grumpy when it comes to this stuff, no you can't dig up my garden or no you cant skinny dip in my pool or the best one no you cant eat the food in my fridge ...geez  :P 

If the landowner were wise, they should tell the the fossil hunters exactly where to dig. Just don't tell them it happens to be right where you want a swimming pool.

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Macrophyseter
10 hours ago, Still_human said:

And yes, I, as most people do, KNOW that they had tail flukes. It's just that there haven't been any impressions found yet. Exactly! Exactly like ichthyosaurs! And like the "newly discovered" little downward tail thingee on mosasaurs. Everyone might know, they just know without having the physical preservation yet. 

And I think u might b onto something! Fossilized dragon tongues, eh? It all fits so perfectly now!

But the thing is that if we say we have a Basilosaurus without flukes, how on earth is it going to move? What will its mechanism of locomotion be? I'm pretty sure that the vertebral structure cannot allow strong snake-like slithering movement, so a sea snake-style locomotion is out of question. And if we say that Basilosaurus simply swam in a modern cetacean-like movement, it won't be able to go anywhere considering the absence of a fluke would mean no ability to push against water effectively. And if we mentioned the legs/flippers, do you think legs/flippers so tiny can propel an apex predator so big? Early archaeocetes that were proven to lack flukes had a method of locomotion by kicking with their large and strong hind legs. But for Basilosaurus, we know that the legs are tiny! It would be like having you strapped to the bottom of a motor-less cruise liner and having to single-handily propel it across the Mediterranean using your own arms and legs while strapped to the bottom (oxygen and food provided of course). So considering how they're really no other possible way Basilosaurus could have moved, it points that there has to be something at the end of the tail that helps push water effectively. 

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WhodamanHD
8 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

how on earth is it going to move? What will its mechanism of locomotion be?

I think it had a propeller.

95AB0B36-E4AF-465C-BE40-7724D5719AAD.jpeg

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Macrophyseter
32 minutes ago, WhodamanHD said:

I think it had a propeller.

95AB0B36-E4AF-465C-BE40-7724D5719AAD.jpeg

And how would the propeller be able to move without causing massive amounts of constant indian burns and skin tear? :hearty-laugh:

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WhodamanHD
3 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

And how would the propeller be able to move without causing massive amounts of constant indian burns and skin tear? :hearty-laugh:

They excrete lubricating oils, silly! Natural selection did quite the work of magic:D

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Macrophyseter
8 minutes ago, WhodamanHD said:

They excrete lubricating oils, silly! Natural selection did quite the work of magic:D

:hearty-laugh: But to be serious, the skins is still attached to the propeller, so constant spinning like that would still cause skin to tear off pretty quickly unless the part that connects the propeller to the rest of the body lacks skin. (But wait, what if natural selection was even more magical and that skinless area evolved to have an unstoppable separate immune system or was entirely water-repellent? :rofl:)

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WhodamanHD
7 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

:hearty-laugh: But to be serious, the skins is still attached to the propeller, so constant spinning like that would still cause skin to tear off pretty quickly unless the part that connects the propeller to the rest of the body lacks skin. (But wait, what if natural selection was even more magical and that skinless area evolved to have an unstoppable separate immune system or was entirely water-repellent? :rofl:)

You are forgetting the cartilaginous axel ;)

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Macrophyseter
1 minute ago, WhodamanHD said:

You are forgetting the cartilaginous axel ;)

You have refreshed my memory. :rofl:

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Still_human

Wow, so much informative back and forth on here!!! whoever thought we would make such a groundbreaking discovery on my thread?!? Im so happy to have been a part of it!

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Still_human
5 hours ago, Macrophyseter said:

But the thing is that if we say we have a Basilosaurus without flukes, how on earth is it going to move? What will its mechanism of locomotion be? I'm pretty sure that the vertebral structure cannot allow strong snake-like slithering movement, so a sea snake-style locomotion is out of question. And if we say that Basilosaurus simply swam in a modern cetacean-like movement, it won't be able to go anywhere considering the absence of a fluke would mean no ability to push against water effectively. And if we mentioned the legs/flippers, do you think legs/flippers so tiny can propel an apex predator so big? Early archaeocetes that were proven to lack flukes had a method of locomotion by kicking with their large and strong hind legs. But for Basilosaurus, we know that the legs are tiny! It would be like having you strapped to the bottom of a motor-less cruise liner and having to single-handily propel it across the Mediterranean using your own arms and legs while strapped to the bottom (oxygen and food provided of course). So considering how they're really no other possible way Basilosaurus could have moved, it points that there has to be something at the end of the tail that helps push water effectively. 

 

4 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

I think it had a propeller.

95AB0B36-E4AF-465C-BE40-7724D5719AAD.jpeg

You should be proud, ur question brought about a new understanding of an amazing animal!

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Boesse

So I'm very late to the party - no soft tissues are known for any archaeocete (yet). However, we do know that in well-preserved basilosaurids like Dorudon atrox that the terminal caudal vertebrae are wider than they are tall and rectangular in shape, becoming more exaggeratedly so further to the back; these are the "fluke" vertebrae, and this condition is unique to cetaceans; in modern whales these vertebrae occur within the fluke itself, becoming wider and lower as the 'caudal peduncle' disappears and transitions into the vertically flattened tail fluke. We call this an osteological correlate: it is indirect evidence of a soft tissue structure preserved in the skeleton. We don't know that Basilosaurus had eyeballs either, but it has eye sockets. Same difference. Here's an image from Mark Uhen's 2004 monograph on Dorudon (dorsal aka top view is A, lateral aka side view is B)

 

image.thumb.png.56369bc383c25836fed8c58b322a26ae.png

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ynot

To tail or not to tail, that is the question.

T'wether it be nobler to be with fluked and suffer the sling of harpoon or dive deep and avoid such calamities.

We as mere mortal man shall never know.

:rofl:

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Still_human
On 7/13/2018 at 9:26 PM, Bone guy said:

I always say if paleontology was started 100 years earlier we would have 20x the information we do now. Unfortunately a lot of the sites that yield amazing fossils will never be found because, well, most landowners don't trust a guy that wants to dig for dead stuff on their property...

They all just have something to hide!

Anyone who refuses should have their land dug up to look for bodies! 

And while we're there......... :P  :)

 

why would the previous 100years be so much more fruitful? And do you mean from when it very first became a thing at all, still before digging for dinos was a serious thing, or when it became a well known more scientific thing, like during the "bone wars"? Or even later, in more modern times, when things went into even higher gear?

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