Subject: Mystery: Mystery Sea Monster to be (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Sun, 11 Jan 1998 21:36:34 -0500 (EST)

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                      J. Michael Williamson
Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <http://whale.wheelock.edu>
                   Associate Professor-Science
  Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
             voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
            fax:    617.734.8666, or 978.468.0073

"Follow in my wake, you've not that much at stake,
For I have plowed the seas, and smoothed the troubled waters"
                        Jimmy Buffett
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu,  8 Jan 98 23:52:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: TAS: Mystery Sea Monster to be

TAS: Mystery Sea Monster to be DNA-tested

   By Don Woolford
   HOBART, Jan 8 AAP - Samples from a supposed sea monster found on
the Tasmanian west coast are to be DNA tested to see if it's a
whale, shark, squid or something more mysterious.
   The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service initially claimed the
large, hairy and smelly remains at Four Mile Beach, north of
Zeehan, was merely whale blubber.
   But this turned out to be largely based on the examination of
other remains recently found further north and now the service
isn't so sure.
   "We have no idea what it is," service biologist Irynej Skira
said after receiving reports from rangers who'd inspected the five
metre by two metre blob that weighs an estimated four tonnes and is
largely covered by what looks like coarse hair.
   "The two rangers couldn't make head or tail of it," Mr Skira
said.
   "They'd never seen anything like it before.
   "It was just an amorphous mass of connected tissue. It must be
from a very big animal."
   Mr Skira said rangers would dig into the remains to see if they
could find any bones, which would indicate it was a whale, or
cartilage, that would suggest a shark.
   But he doubted if they would find anything.
   They'd then send flesh samples to the CSIRO Division of Marine
Research in Hobart, which could do some DNA testing.
   If CSIRO couldn't solve the mystery, the samples would be sent
on to the United States where a DNA bank of whale flesh was
available.
   Mr Skira wouldn't speculate on what the animal was. Other local
experts think it's probably either whale blubber or the remains of
a giant squid.