Dec 23, 2021 I Nick Redfern

No Living Dinosaurs Here. Massive, Mysterious Creatures That Are Potentially Even More Exciting? Yes!

I'm often asked if the likes of the Loch Ness Monsters of Scotland, and other lake monsters too -  such as Champ, Ogopogo and more - could be nothing less than creatures that have survived from the Jurassic period: plesiosaurs. Well, in my personal opinion, the answer is a decisive "NO!" There is a very simple reason as to why these creatures are not plesiosaurs. The fact is that plesiosaurs were marine reptiles (not dinosaurs). And, just like crocodiles, plesiosaurs had to surface for air. And, also like crocodiles, they had to surface on significantly numbers per day. Now, I admit that in an isolated lake, in a faraway land, that is hardly visited, it just might be possible for a colony of plesiosaurs to survive. Maybe, even thrive. But, admittedly even that is highly unlikely. Now, with that said, back to Loch Ness. The number of people who visit Loch Ness every year is huge. And, I do mean HUGE. Yet, the number of people who see the creatures is small. Sometimes four or five a year. Maybe, on a good year, a dozen or so. Even a few more than that. But, not much more. Now, consider this: A crocodile can hold its breath for more than an hour. That means each Nessie would, roughly, have to surface around twenty times a day. Then, consider how many times each plesiosaur would have to surface per week. Then, think of the "surfacing numbers" per year. They would be MASSIVE. But, the sightings aren't in massive proportions. You see what I mean? Like with crocodiles, the Nessies should be seen - given the numbers of tourists who descend on the legendary loch - all over the place, and there should be dozens upon dozens of sightings, photos and eyewitness sightings. The reality is the exact opposite: you are very lucky to see such a creature at the loch.

So, what could the Nessies really be? Well, there are the supernatural theories, the idea that the Nessies are giant eels, the possibility of the monsters being large salamanders. Really big. All of those theories are plausible. As I see it, there can only be one answer; there can't be two or more mysteries. Although I go with the paranormal angle, I also think the salamander angle is a very good one. Check out Steve Plambeck's research in this field. Some people might be disappointed if the Nessies turn out to be huge salamanders. But, as I see it, it would be fantastic if we proved that the Nessies were indeed massive salamanders. Or, let's say, that a dead, twenty-five-foot-long eel gets washed upon the shores of Loch Ness. That too would be amazing. So, what I'm saying is that whatever the answer might be, I think it will be a jaw-dropping one. But, it won't have anything to do with creatures from the Jurassic period.

Now, let's take a trip to Australia. I've heard more than a few stories of "giant dinosaurs" roaming the more dense areas of Australia. Could there be such things? Well, consider the following words of the Australian Government: "Australia has a total of 134 million hectares of forest, which is equivalent to 17% of Australia's land area. Of this total forest area, determined as at 2016, 132 million hectares (98%) are 'Native forests', 1.95 million hectares are 'Commercial plantations' and 0.47 million hectares are 'Other forest'. Australia has about 3% of the world's forest area, and globally is the country with the seventh largest forest area." Add to that the likes of lakes, lagoons and even more, large, unidentified animals could hide out and survive. There are, however, no living dinosaurs in Australia. What there might be, though, is Megalania. Over the years and decades there have been more than a few reports of people seeing creatures that look like Komodo Dragons, but that are around twenty-feet long. Just like with Nessie, it would be great to discover something from the Jurassic period.

The Australian Museum say of Megalania: "Megalania prisca was an enormous monitor lizard - up to 5 meters long - with an unusual crest on its snout (a smaller but similar crest is also seen in the perentie, Varanus giganateus and in other Australian species). The teeth of Megalania were sharp and recurved with wrinkled, infolded enamel. Megalania had small bones (osteoderms) embedded in the skin of the snout and nape of the neck." Imagine seeing that up and close! Yes, it would look like something from the Jurassic period. But, it would really be a surviving creature from thousands of years ago, rather than millions of years ago. That there is a body of data that suggests there might be living Megalanias in Australia is incredible. But, I don't dismiss such a scenario. There are not, though, any large, rampaging creatures from the Jurassic period in Australia. It's pretty much like the issues surrounding the creatures of Loch Ness: there really are some creatures of an incredible nature in our world, but they're not dinosaurs. Now, onto Africa.

Rich Freeman
Richard Freeman, former zoo-keeper and expert on Mokele-Mbembe

For years, tales have circulated concerning a dangerous and potentially deadly beast that has made its water-based home in the heart of the Congo Basin in Central Africa. Its name: Mokele-Mbembe. It has a superficial resemblance to a brontosaurus; a herbivore that existed in the Jurassic period and that weighed up to sixteen tons and which could grow to a maximum length of approximately seventy-two-feel in length. Just like the rest of the dinosaurs, the Brontosaurus was violently taken out of circulation around sixty-five million years ago – possibly by a collision between the Earth and a massive comet, the result of which was worldwide chaos, massive flooding, and the plummeting of the hot temperatures that existed during that era and, as a result, the inevitable extinction of the dinosaurs. But, did they really die out? Well, yes, they did. In all probability, this huge creature -Mokele-Mbembe - is a monitor lizard of massive proportions. Indeed, former U.K. zoo-keeper, Richard Freeman, says of Mokele-Mbembe that "the creature has cross-over qualities with dragon legends, but I’m sure that it will be shown in time to be some sort of giant monitor lizard."

So, in conclusion, I'm sure we can rule out the idea that there still might be huge dinosaurs - and right among us. There aren't. Instead, we have amazing, massive, mysterious creatures that we still have yet to classify.

Nick Redfern
Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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