Some See Dinosaur In
Decaying, Beached Remains
By Kevin Cox
Toronto Globe and Mail

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Is the reeking carcass of a sea creature the remains of a dinosaur of the deep or the rare beaching of a basking shark?
The fishy remains, discovered late Tuesday on the rocky shore of the Bay of Fundy, attracted crowds of the curious and speculation about what the dragon-like beast was.
The carcass is about 30 feet long and badly decomposed.
It has a long neck and a small skull.
Grant Potter, the Parkers Cove resident who discovered it near a wharf, acknowledged that he has had to put up with jokes about seeing sea monsters, but wonders if that is what he has found.
He said he wants more proof before he accepts that the body is that of a basking shark washed ashore by recent storms.
"I've had some people joking and saying, 'What are you talking about, the Loch Ness monster?,' and I say that is a good place to start," said Potter.
"I believe this is the remnant of an animal from times gone by," he said.
He said four fishermen in the area have talked among themselves about seeing sea creatures that resemble the carcass, but they haven't talked about it in public for fear of being ridiculed.
Two scientists who saw the carcass on a video at the ATV studio in Halifax Tuesday said it fits the description of the huge basking shark.
The cartilage on the fish -- its small head, gill arches and large dorsal fin -- all indicate that it is a basking shark, said Chris Harvey-Clark, director of animal care at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Many people in the past have found the remains of basking sharks and believed they were sea monsters because of the small head and huge body.
"I can imagine people in the past coming upon something like that on the beach. Most people couldn't fathom what it was," Harvey-Clark said.
Andrew Hebda, curator of zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, agreed that the carcass resembles a basking shark.
He said the province has seen only three beached sharks, which usually stay in warmer waters, over the past decade.
-- Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service


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