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Monday, January 18, 2010


I don't usually print straightforward news stories on this blog, leaving them to the remit of Gavin over on the Newsblog, but when I read the story that Lindsay S. sent me this morning, I couldn't resist.

According to WPTV in Florida: 'Fish and Wildlife biologists believe that the cold weather has helped to uncover a local mystery; the identity of the mysterious sea monster featured on the TV show MonsterQuest which airs on the History Channel.'

Oh, yes. Pray, tell us more.

'As hundreds of manatees huddled to stay warm inside the channel of the Florida Power and Light Riviera Beach Power Plant, one of the gentle sea cows stood out due to a distinct feature of its anatomy. Thought to have been injured by a boat propeller at some point in its life, the manatee's tail grew back into three separate prongs. Due to the unusual shape, the manatee leaves three separate wakes on the water's surface while swimming just below.

'The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believes that this is the source of the sea creature shown during a segment last year on Monsterquest.'

I wonder whether this could have any bearing on our sighting of 'three separate wakes' on the Irish lake last year; not for one moment that I am suggesting that a mutilated sirenian somehow turned up in Killarney, but you know what I mean.

Actually, it's too bloody early in the morning for me. I'm up a couple of hours before usual because we have appointments in Bideford and I wanted to do the bloggo before we went. The story caught my fancy, but I will leave you guys to do the thinking for me. Do YOU think it has any relevance at all, or am I just blearily clutching at straws?

YOU decide.


Dale Drinnon said...

Well, for the first thing, the idea that THIS manatee is the one that left the three wakes on Monsterquest is not proven. Has anybody done the smart thing and filmed the wake this one leaves to compare to the Monsterquest footage?
Next thing would be, I had the impression that the triple wakes at Killarney were three separate bodies going in different directions.
I don't think there is a direct connection but if your K-Beistie had a triple tail section, could be it was like an otter's rear end with both hind limbs and a tail.

Richie said...

I don't think so. The three wakes looked like separate creatures. I don't think there could be enough separation in the tail to create different wakes.

Scopi said...

Does it have any relevance? Did you see the MonsterQuest episode in question? The episode implied that the animal in the videos was some unknown sea mammal, despite the fact that there were clear shots of the animal's head, and it was a manatee. (They got some scientist from a local university to say the head wasn't a manatee's, but he was either hard-of-seeing or paid off.) They made a lot of hay about the three-pronged tail, and now we have a picture of EXACTLY the same tail on a manatee. So yeah, I'd say that the story is pretty frickin' relevant, assuming the truth matters to you at all.

Marcy said...

The Florida manatee has no mechanism for blood to clot. When we lived in Florida, some medical groups were begging for studies to be done, in hopes of finding a solution for hemophilia. But the biggest single cause of death for manatees was that they bled to death after injuries from boat propellers.

The tail that shows in that photograph, if it is a manatee, could not have resulted from an injury. No manatee could have healed from such a severe mutilation. It might be an inborn deformity. Or it might not be a manatee.

Retrieverman said...

It is a manatee.

I shouted it at the TV when this was first shown on the History Channel.

Manatees could survive this injury. In fact, they get far worse injuries from boat propellers and survive. That is how we can determine how many manatees are left. They can be counted as individuals from their scars.

shiva said...

Wow. Certainly looks a lot like the stills i saw from the Florida "monster" footage, although it might not be the same animal, but one with a similar injury/abnormality. (I vaguely remember that the 3 "prongs" in the "monster" footage looked longer than those in this pic.)

The other thing it reminds me of is the "cryptid" with the saw-like "fin" on its back that was seen and photographed in the Amazon a few years ago, which seems to have been a river dolphin with either injuries from a boat propellor or some congenital abnormality (again, the shape semed too regular for an injury and it seemed unlikely that the animal would have survived wounds that extensive underwater).

Also, at first glance that photo looked to me like a *huge* 3-toed foot...

Marozi said...

But to me it seems they can do. Take a look at this statement: "The severity of mutilations for some of these individuals can be astounding - including long term survivors with completely severed tails, major tail mutilations, and multiple disfiguring dorsal lacerations." (Marine Mammal Medicine, 2001, Leslie Dierauf & Frances Gulland, CRC Press). Here's a picture of such a manatee: http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn17163/dn17163-4_500.jpg