Sunday, July 4, 2010

If blogging existed four decades ago.

If we went back forty years, the younger version of Matty Boy would have been all over this story. As a nod that young man, I report on a new scientific discovery.

(Illustration by C. Letenneur, Nature)

A new fossil find has discovered an extinct species of whale that lived about 12 million years ago. The whale was the size of a modern day sperm whale, 50 to 60 feet long, but had a much bigger and more powerful jaw, which means it could easily have been a predator of whales. The illustrator gave it a shape roughly equivalent to a sperm whale and coloring like an orca. In contrast, the modern killer whale is in the range of 20 to 30 feet long.

Quibble: the whale being attacked is shaped like a blue whale, but it is much too tiny. Adult blues are in the 90 to 100 foot range, so this ancient predator would have had to hunt in packs to bring down the really big baleen whales.

Scientists have named the previously undiscovered species Leviathan melvillei in honor of the author of Moby Dick, of course.

I loved stories like this when I was a kid. Nowadays, it probably means Syfy will make a ridiculously cheap movie with bad special effects about one of these critters still being alive and attacking humans. These kind of scripts write themselves, so you have to have an Ahab like character. I expect F. Murray Abraham or Lance Hendricksen to get the role, maybe Larry Drake if they are really strapped for cash. There will also be a semi-famous babe in distress. Think Renee O'Connor or Kari Wuhrer. They might go younger, but I doubt they will be able to afford anyone with more gravitas than Heidi Montag.

I probably won't watch. Too painful to think about how much the younger version of me would have loved this.

1 comment:

Margaret Benbow said...

I hope that movie happens. It does us some good to go see a movie with battling hundred-footers and let our prehistoric out.