|Artwork by Aleks Mats, depicting a long-necked 'sea serpent' which was reported to have been chasing dolphins.|
Depiction of a longneck by Tim Morris, with dolphins and the average features reported in such sightings added by Dale Drinnon.
Go to 1:20 of the video above to see the dolphins bow ride off of a blue whale. Do note that if dolphins were to bow ride off of a faster swimming animal, they would need to swim ahead at a quick speed. The following video shows dolphins bow riding off of a ship, which allows you to see that they will swim ahead of a large object in a manner which could be interpreted as fleeing a predator.
I think that it should also be considered that the cetaceans could have possibly been engaging in a playful behavior with the longnecks, as dolphins and porpoises have been known to engage in such playful interaction with other mammalian species such as sea lions. Either way, I was glad to be a part of a discussion which may have solved a question that has puzzled fellow cryptozoological researchers.
- Oudemans, A. C. The Great Sea-serpent. An Historical and Critical Treatise. With the Reports of 187 Appearances ... the Suppositions and Suggestions of Scientific and Non-scientific Persons, and the Author's Conclusions. With 82 Illustrations. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1892. Print.
- "Frontiers of Zoology: Longnecks Are Reported to Chase Dolphins." Frontiers of Zoology: Longnecks Are Reported to Chase Dolphins. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2013. http://frontiersofzoology.blogspot.com/2013/06/longnecks-are-reported-to-chase-dolphins.html.
At a time after the writing and publication of this article, I came in contact with marine biologist and cryptozoological researcher Bruce Champagne. Bruce is well known among the field of 'sea serpent' research for his thesis A Classification System For Large, Unidentified Marine Animals Based On The Examination Of Reported Observations. In this paper, he collected and analyzed 1,247 accounts of unidentified marine animals in order to create ten 'categories' of 'sea serpents' which were assigned a rating of likelihood based off of the quality and accuracy of representative reports. He has been so kind as to provide me with a copy of this unparalleled work, and I have been reading and scrutinizing it ever since. Cryptozoological researcher Dale Drinnon has written an excellent review of the 'categories' here, but I will refrain from doing so extensively until a later time. I have been especially interested in Champagne's long-necked 'categories', which he has dubbed the Type 1 Animals. There are two 'subcategories' under this type: the Type 1A Animal (described and illustrated here and here) and the Type 1B Animal (described in this article with an illustration below). One feature mentioned under the passage describing the latter alleged animal especially caught my attention in regard to this article, and I thought that it would be appropriate to review this as an amendment. According to Bruce Champagne's description as inferred from reports, the Type 1B Animal is a smaller and probably more primitive relative of the Type 1A Animal. It accounted for five reports in Bruce's database, a small number leading me to think that the allegedly observed animals are synonymous with the Type 1A Animals but were simply described or observed in a different manner. The Type 1B animals were only reported from the North Atlantic Ocean region near the British Isles and Denmark, where there are similar quantities of benthic biomass and phytoplankton/zooplankton production levels. They possess a muscular long neck and a head which has been described as similar in shape or appearance to that of a cow, horse, or giraffe. The head is commonly reported to be of a greater diameter than that of the neck, an apparent dissimilarity from the Type 1A Animals. Big round eyes, heavy brow ridges, large jaws, and a "ruffle" or series of grooves behind the head (likely elastic skin which has bunched up) has also been reported in the head/neck region. The body of these 'sea serpents' is described as being around seventeen meters (near fifty five feet) in length with smooth skin and a uniformly dark coloration. The thought-provoking feature which I mentioned earlier is that sixty percent of the recorded observations entailed the Type 1B Animals swimming in the presence of small cetaceans. Champagne notes that the cetaceans were not observed to be noticeably fleeing from the long-necked animals, and suggests that the 'sea serpents' were frequenting the pods in order to locate prey or be protected from predators. The latter concept makes the most sense to me, as the long necks of these unidentified animals would certainly be vulnerable to critical wounds if attacked by predators. Thus, an 'early warning system' consisting of cetaceans which would alert the longnecks to approaching predators would be of great benefit to the Type 1B Animals. This may be interpreted as suggesting symbiosis between the two marine animal species, with the long-necked animals gaining protection from predators and the small cetaceans riding the bow waves produced by the 'sea serpents'. However, this is pure speculation until future data arises, assuming that there is anything substantial to the idea.
|Tim Morris' illustration of the Type 1B Animal, as Bruce Champagne inferred from alleged observations.|