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In the dark waters of Scotland's Loch Ness, a mysterious serpent-like monster has been repeatedly sighted and even photographed and filmed. Still the question persists: Is the Loch Ness Monster a survivor of the dinosaur age, or a series of elaborate hoaxes?

How Old? The most popular theory about the Loch Ness Monster is that it's a kind of plesiosaur, a group of aquatic reptiles from the age of the dinosaurs.

Flip & Flap: Underwater photographs taken of Nessie show what appear to be flippers. Plesiosaurs have two sets of flippers that propelled and steered them through the water.

The Lone Survivor?[]

Loch Ness Monster Back Image

Here's one theory of how Nessie survived: While all other dinosaurs became extinct, a few plesiosaurs survived for millions of years. Then after the last Ice Age ended (12,000 years ago), the monsters migrated into the fresh water lake and made a home. The most famous photograph of Nessie was taken by London surgeon Colonel Robert Kenneth Wilson in 1934, and shows a long, slim neck poking above the water.

Above the Rest: Nessie's long, flexible neck would be ideal for chasing down fleeing fish. Its eyes would have to be pointing forward as a targeting system and its jaws would need to be filled with needle-like teeth to grasp slippery prey.

Why Did the Monster Cross the Road? One of the first sightings of Nessie was in July, 1933. A couple reported seeing a monster cross in front of their car as they drove around Loch Ness.

Then it Might Be...[]

  1. Some believe that Nessie is a prehistoric whale called Basilosaurus, a species that is believed to have died out 18 million years ago. It would have lived in the sea until the end of the last Ice Age, then migrated into Loch Ness.
  2. Large fish called sturgeon sometimes swim up the River Ness and enter Loch Ness in search of food. These fish can be nearly 20 ft. long and have a ridge of humps on their backs, which could explain sightings of the Loch Ness Monster.
  3. Loch Ness is home to millions of European eels that grow up to 10 ft. long. Some think that the Loch Ness Monster is just an overgrown eel.

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