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Way Downstream … (Nov. 21-27, 2019)

Is massive sea creature a Chessie ancestor?

       Researchers in Poland recently announced discovery of what’s left of a pliosaur, a fierce predator that patrolled the oceans 150 million years ago, in the Jurassic period.

         Paleontologists working a cornfield in the Holly Cross Mountains in central Poland also found bones from a second ocean creature, this one with a long neck, as well as bones of ancient turtles and fossilized teeth three inches wide. They described their findings in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association.

         We in Chesapeake land, of course, have our Chessie, a sea creature that has gained the status of an icon over the years since the first sighting in the 1930s. Just since the late 1970s, Chessies are said to have been spotted near Calvert Cliffs State Park, off Kent Island and as far north as the Patapsco River.

         In 2014, two people claimed to have seen an undulating snake-like creature in the Magothy River that they guessed was 25 to 30 feet long.

         In Poland, the creature’s length was estimated at 33 feet. The researchers noted that the fearsome pliosaur had its place atop the food chain, feasting on anything that swam — or tumbled into the drink. That might include perhaps the most famous of all the creatures of the age, the T. Rex.

         In fact, early studies concluded that a pliosaurs’ massive jaws were more than four times more powerful than the chompers of a T. Rex.

         We’re just playing it safe here, but to Chessie spotters out there we would advise you to whip out your cell phone cameras fast and then exit with throttle completely forward.