|In 1938, in the Chalumna River in South Africa, a fish was
discovered. The Coelacanth (pictured at right), lesser known
chalumnae, was thought to have been extinct for almost 300
million years but there it was, swimming happily. The find was
not an isolated one. Over the years, specimens have been found
in other parts of Africa as far north as Tanzania. A
"sister" species of Latimeria was found in Indonesia in 1999.
I bring the Coelacanth to your attention because of a fossil find in
Saskatchewan. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum announced in 1995
that a huge 73 million year old Tylosaur was excavated near
Herbert Ferry on Lake Diefenbaker.
Tylosaur was a lizard-like reptile that swam in shallow seas in the
late Cretaceous period, approximately 70 - 80 million years ago.
They had small flippers but large jaws, teeth and vertebrae.
They were found in large numbers all through out North America.
At the time of the Tylosaur, the Bearpaw Sea, an inland waterway
that stretched from western Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, was a
combination of fresh and salt water. That is one of the
reasons that there are so many salt flats and deposits in western
Canada. The Tylosaur flourished in great numbers, feeding on
fish, other reptiles and even on other Tylosaur. They ranged
up to 15 metres long and could weigh many tons. Their heads
included long snouts that they used to ram their prey to render it
easier to catch?
Take a look at the Tylosaur in its stretched configuration, as
seen below. Does that not strike you as being somewhat the
same configuration as has been ascribed to many sea monsters in
Canada? It may not be exact but then most of the sightings of
Cadborosaurous, Turtle Lake Monster and other sea creatures have
been sketchy at best. Anyway, what changes could be possible
through evolution over an 80 million year period.
Now I am not saying that sea monsters exist in Canada. I am
also not saying the the Tylosaur has escaped extinction.
What I am saying is that you cannot dismiss the "eyewitness"
reports of sightings, out of hand. The experience of the
Coelacanth is evidence that, in science, the words always and
never are dangerous ones to use.
Canadian sea monsters include:
Cadborosaurous, Turtle Lake
Memphre and even more.