STL Science Center

STL Science Center

07 February 2013

Nessie and Playsets

Where to start with the popular culture entry for the week? Elasmosaurus is an amazingly popular animal. Though most of the time packages for toys or generic books, or anything else of that type of thing, says simply "Plesiosaur" on it, it typically refers to a long necked Elasmosaurus. Once in a great while we see a box that says Elasmosaurus, but sadly, often those boxes contain what I refer to as "angry toys." Angry toys are those magnificently strange models we often see given to children in which the dinosaurs, dragons, and other creatures are portrayed as malevolent looking beasts that were definitely modeled in a tear you up posture with gnashing teeth and a scowl. Such as this:
Where to start on the awful inaccuracies here? I understand the toy maker's mantra these days; I find it to be universal throughout the toy industry that "make more money" is the typical war cry (Papo and other higher quality fossil animal modelers being an exception as they include "be accurate" in there as well). Regardless, do we start by the implication of a caveman/plesiosaur interaction? Labeling it a dinosaur? The neck position? Teeth? The awful forelimbs? The only thing a child would gather from this modelling of Elasmosaurus is that it was a terrible monster with a lot of deformities.

Let us look at something better here. There is always Spore, talking about inaccuracies. However, despite its inaccuracies, the majority of Spore creations tended to be made with the best intentions by creative folks attempting to push their artistic abilities and boundaries. Also, this is a pretty good model, except for that ever common neck. Type in "Spore Elasmosaurus" in YouTube, you get quite a few models; I just picked one that I thought was the best.
One last thing before I go. Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, or The Monster of The Loch, depending on your preference, would most likely be something akin to an Elasmosaurus. Many cryptozoology fanatics and websites attribute Elasmosaurus survival to the identity of the Loch Ness Monster. Is it the truth and does it exist? That is your decision to make.

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