Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 19th, 2009
The BBC News is carrying this breaking news on August 19, 2009:
Palaeontologists have drawn with ink extracted from a preserved fossilised squid uncovered during a dig in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
The fossil, thought to be 150 million years old, was found when a rock was cracked open, revealing the one-inch-long black ink sac.
Dr Phil Wilby of the British Geological Survey said it was an ancient creature similar to the modern-day squid.
“The structure is similar to ink from a modern squid so we can write with it,” he said.
The find was made at a site which was first excavated in Victorian times where thousands of Jurassic fossils with preserved soft tissues were found.
Dr Wilby, who led the excavation, said: “We think that these creatures were swimming around during the Jurassic period and were turned to stone soon after death. It’s called the Medusa effect.”
Experts believe one possibility is that thousands of the creatures congregated in the area to mate before being poisoned by algae in the water.
Remains of a different species of squid have also been found, suggesting the carcasses attracted predators to feed on them and they in turn also died.
Dr Wilby said: “They can be dissected as if they are living animals, you can see the muscle fibres and cells.
“It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac fossilised in three dimension, still black, and inside a rock that is 150 million years old.”
The specimen is now in the British Geological Survey collection in Nottingham.
Part of the ink sac has been sent to Yale University in America for more in-depth chemical analysis.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.