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Episode Notes for
Science & Sea Monsters
(episode 118)

What do you get when you combine a love for statistics, a love for biological maritime mysteries and a relentless curiosity? Dr. Charles Paxton has applied biology and math work to produce several papers on the mysterious creatures called “sea monsters.” In this episode of MonsterTalk, we discuss sea monsters, math and naughty ostriches.

Japetus Steenstrup Sea Monks

Click image to enlarge. Illustration from Japetus Steenstrup’s 1854 presentation [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons. The illustration on the left is by professor Guillaume Rondelet, and on the right by naturalist Pierre Belon, both from the 16th century. At center is an illustration of a squid caught in 1854. “Could we, given these bits of information of how the Monk was conceived at that time, come so near to it that we could recognize to which of nature’s creatures it should most probably be assigned? The Sea Monk is firstly a cephalopod.” —Japetus Steenstrup, 1854.

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