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Old 01-26-2018, 06:23 AM
 
3,052 posts, read 750,816 times
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Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
Some ground beetles expel noxious chemicals for self defense, and the bombardier beetle takes that to an extreme. Its relatives all have paired pygidial glands, and some of them use them to expel noxious or caustic substances.

There are absolutely no reptiles, dinosaurs, or mammals that have evolved a similar mechanism, no evolutionary relatives or precursors living or extinct that might rationally lead via natural selection to a reptile or dinosaur expelling boiling hot liquid from one or more of its orifices. In the bombardier beetles, you have pygidial glands holding the chemicals and the rectum for a mixing chamber - there's no equivalent in these higher animals.



Except for the birds, they were wiped out in the Cretaceous extinction event, thanks to an asteroid impact, volcanism, or both. But it appears they had been declining for up to 40 million years before the extinction event, due to environmental pressures (and maybe those pesky critters called mammals eating their eggs).

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...osaurs/478668/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...ur-extinction/

Could some dinosaurs other than the birds survived? Maybe - but even so, the huge stretch is claiming they were blowing boiling hot fluids out of their mouths or rear ends. Unfortunately, searches for the most likely survivors, the Loch Ness Monster and mokele-mbembe, have so far turned up nothing.
Well what were the people seeing and describing in all the old historical accounts like the one below from Marco Polo? By their descriptions, it is not something that exists today, its too large to be a alligator or croc, and doesnt really fit the full description anyway.

"Leaving the city of Yachi, and traveling ten days in a westerly direction, you reach the province of Karazan, which is also the name of the chief city....Here are seen huge serpents, ten paces in length (about 30 feet), and ten spans (about 8 feet) girt of the body. At the fore part, near the head, they have two short legs, having three claws like those of a tiger, with eyes larger than a forepenny loaf (pane da quattro denari) and very glaring."



“Africa produces elephants, but it is India that produces the largest, as well as the dragon, who is perpetually at war with the elephant, and is itself of so enormous a size, as easily to envelop the elephants with its folds, and encircle them in its coils. The contest is equally fatal to both; the elephant, vanquished, falls to the earth, and by its weight crushes the dragon which is entwined around it.

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Old 01-26-2018, 07:39 AM
Status: "Future SC resident" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Naperville, Illinois
3,608 posts, read 2,938,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
Well what were the people seeing and describing in all the old historical accounts like the one below from Marco Polo? By their descriptions, it is not something that exists today, its too large to be a alligator or croc, and doesnt really fit the full description anyway.

"Leaving the city of Yachi, and traveling ten days in a westerly direction, you reach the province of Karazan, which is also the name of the chief city....Here are seen huge serpents, ten paces in length (about 30 feet), and ten spans (about 8 feet) girt of the body. At the fore part, near the head, they have two short legs, having three claws like those of a tiger, with eyes larger than a forepenny loaf (pane da quattro denari) and very glaring."

“Africa produces elephants, but it is India that produces the largest, as well as the dragon, who is perpetually at war with the elephant, and is itself of so enormous a size, as easily to envelop the elephants with its folds, and encircle them in its coils. The contest is equally fatal to both; the elephant, vanquished, falls to the earth, and by its weight crushes the dragon which is entwined around it.

Marco Polo is recounting a tale he's been told, not claiming he personally has seen "huge serpents" or dragons "perpetually at war" with elephants. It's no different than people on C-D repeating a story about sasquatch or the Loch Ness monster or ghosts that they've read somewhere on the internet or heard on Coast to Coast. As for what they're seeing and describing: see my earlier posts. People elaborate on and distort tales in the telling - remember the game you presumably played as a child called "telephone"? They're repeating stories they've been told, just as Herodotus did here:

Quote:
[The Egyptians] have also another sacred bird called the phoenix which I myself have never seen, except in pictures. Indeed it is a great rarity, even in Egypt, only coming there (according to the accounts of the people of Heliopolis) once in five hundred years, when the old phoenix dies. Its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follow:- The plumage is partly red, partly golden, while the general make and size are almost exactly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does, which does not seem to me to be credible: that he comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body. In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry; then he hollows out the ball, and puts his parent inside, after which he covers over the opening with fresh myrrh, and the ball is then of exactly the same weight as at first; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered over as I have said, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun. Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird.

To answer directly the question in this thread's title: my belief is that these ancient tales and bestiaries are of minimal value in telling us anything about the existence for the reasons I've outlined.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,449 posts, read 9,474,471 times
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Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
...To answer directly the question in this thread's title: my belief is that these ancient tales and bestiaries are of minimal value in telling us anything about the existence for the reasons I've outlined.
Exactly. However, scientific method and reality do little to dissuade the opinions of those who would rather embrace the fantastic than recognize the obvious.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:53 PM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
8,651 posts, read 9,419,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
Exactly. However, scientific method and reality do little to dissuade the opinions of those who would rather embrace the fantastic than recognize the obvious.
It's not necessary to believe in something in order to enjoy it.

Here's another treat.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...KIKX0DER&psc=1

And still more—probably of rather uneven quality.

https://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb...=3TC35C8EV8XNP
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,449 posts, read 9,474,471 times
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Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
It's not necessary to believe in something in order to enjoy it...
True. However, one should be able to discern fantasy from reality lest they propagate myths rather than accept facts.
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