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Loch Ness Monster: New species linked to sightings

The now familiar image of the Loch Ness Monster. Picture: Contributed

The now familiar image of the Loch Ness Monster. Picture: Contributed

  • by WILL COOPER
 

EDINBURGH University’s recent discovery of a new blood-biting super predator species could shine new light on the Loch Ness monster say Loch Ness experts.

Scientists at Edinburgh University discovered the new species last week, the ancient bones of the creature were found in a clay pit near Peterborough over 100 years ago. The new evidence suggests that the creature is distantly related to the modern day crocodile.

Willie Cameron of Loch Ness Marketing believes the new discovery could be linked to sightings reported at Loch Ness. He told the Inverness Courier: “I’m not saying that it was there one week ago, two weeks ago, or even 100 years ago. I’m just saying previous sightings could have been something like this.”

Local expert Adrian Shine has spent around forty years studying the Loch, and doubts the new connection. He said: “Of course, it does not fit the popular stereotype of the iconic long-necked plesiosaur that turn people on, but we could enter a whole new debate as to what extent plesiosaurs were able to raise their long necks swan-like above the water.”

Nessie came to the public’s attention in the 1930s. Perhaps the most famous picture of Nessie was taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson in 1934. It showed a long necked creature, poking out of the water. That image has become synonymous with Loch Ness and is the most common theory on how Nessie might look.

This new discovery throws up more questions as to the truth behind the Nessie story. In recent times a widely accepted explanation is that the creature could be a giant sturgeon, which can grow up to 12 feet long.

One recorded sighting that fits the new description dates back to February 1932. The report says that a Miss K MacDonald spotted what she described as a “crocodile-like” creature making its way up the river towards Loch Ness.

Seals, birds, trees, submarines and crocodiles among other wild and wonderful theories have been credited with being the truth behind the myth.

However, suggestions of a link between this new blood-biting predator to Loch Ness have been discounted by a leading authority on dinosaurs.

Angela Milner is a retired research associate with the Natural History Museum, she said: “Crocodiles do not like our climate. We’re talking about things that have been perhaps seen in Loch Ness — no way could a crocodile survive.”

 

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