October 16, 2005

Iapetus Saves Manhattan

Chapter Two

"This iceberg is enormous, and that is just the tip of the iceberg," Dr. Claude LeFleur joked to himself.

With the global warm temperatures, this iceberg had broken off the arctic ice shelf and was floating south towards Canada. Many icebergs had done such things in the past, but this one was very special. Some Canadians on their fishing boat were trawling between the icebergs, when they spotted something unusual about this particular iceberg. When they approached to investigate, they were astounded at what they saw. They immediately contacted authorities. This is how Dr. LeFleur got involved.

Dr. LeFleur was at the top of his field. In his younger days, they scoffed that such a young man could not be so competent. However, he proved them all wrong with finding after finding. Now, at age 50, he was at the forefront of another major discovery. He was in charge of researching this iceberg. He was onboard the tugboat that was towing it into the Hudson Bay.

A research station was set up on James Bay on the southern tip of the Hudson Bay. That was the only location large enough to handle this special iceberg. It was an unusually warm spring, and the ice was melting quickly. The more the ice melted, the more excited the crew became. This iceberg had an enormous creature trapped inside. The fishing crew, who discovered it, dubbed it an ultra-yeti.

The creature was pure white and was enormous. This ultra-yeti was reminiscent of the legendary creature thought to roam the Himalayan mountain range; however, this beast was much bigger than the legendary "Abominable Snowman." It was quite a fierce looking monster. From Dr. LeFleur's initial examination, he deduced that the creature was pregnant. Thus, they all agreed that she was female. They named her Casiell, which is Latin for "Earthy Mother".

As the tug slowly pulled the ice entombed creature south, more and more ice was melting away. "This had better not take too long," thought Dr. LeFleur. "Otherwise, all the ice will melt, and she'll go sinking to the bottom of Hudson Bay. However, she is gigantic. Even on the bottom, she may still be above the water."

The creature entombed in this block of ice was indeed gigantic. It would make many dinosaurs look like small dogs. When Cassiel roamed the earth, she would have stood 250 meters tall while standing on her hind legs. "This animal was half the height of Canada's tallest building," thought Dr. LeFleur. "It would dwarf many buildings in the North America. I'm one of the luckiest people alive, because I get to study her!"

Dr. LeFleur's research team was waiting for them to arrive at their small research station on James Bay. The team notified several prominent biological scientists, and it was the talk of the many blogs on the internet. There was a lot of talk about the ultra-yeti. Many biologists made their way to the research station. Many curious people also made their way to the remote area of Canada. The research team had to establish some security to make sure that nothing got out of hand.

The unusually warm weather melted much of the ice and exposed much of the ultra-yeti's fur before they reached the research station. However, there was still enough ice under her to keep her afloat. However, Dr. LeFleur was worried about decay. He was hoping for much cooler weather to keep her from decaying, but there would be many opportunities to get good data.

Dr. LaFleur's team obtained some of the fur for analysis. Furthermore, the team was able to obtain some blood and tissue samples. With these samples they were able to do some DNA and chemical analysis on the creature. In their analysis of these samples, they quickly confirmed that she was pregnant.

There were many exciting discoveries. Clearly, this creature was not the sole member of her species unless her species was born pregnant. "Who knows how many of these creatures once roamed the earth?" thought Dr. LeFleur. "What caused this unfortunate creature to become trapped in the ice? Are there others to be found in the melting arctic ice?"

Dr. LeFleur's team studied the gigantic creature very thoroughly. Claude was anxious to get more information from Cassiel's baby. The weather was cooperating and melting much of the ice that trapped her legs. From what they could tell, she would have delivered just as any mammal. Once her legs were free, they would attempt to access some tissue and blood from the baby through the uterus.

When the fishing vessel first discovered the creature, she was in an odd position in the ice. Her legs were near the top and at an odd angle; her head was much farther down. While they were towing her through Hudson Bay, they would rotate her as much as they could so she would lie down at a more convenient angle as the ice melted. At present, she was lying mostly on her back but slightly on her left side.

The team's plan was to free the child if possible. Once freeing the child, the science team could then get to the mother's stomach. This would allow them to analyze her diet. "How much could this creature eat?" wondered Dr. LeFleur. "What did she eat? Was she a scavenger? Was she herbivorous, carnivorous, or omnivorous?"

They managed to get some ultrasound equipment to their isolated site. They used the ultrasound to give them a great deal of information about the baby. The baby was male, and appeared to be almost ready for birth. The team theorized that she was about to give birth when she died.

"Perhaps," one scientist theorized. "She broke through the ice and could not get free."

"She may have been searching for her last meal before giving birth, and perhaps she starved before she delivered," guessed another.

"If she ate fish, she may have gotten caught in a sudden freeze while fishing," another thought aloud.

"There are no signs of trauma, so we know she wasn't injured," included another scientist. "She may have just gotten trapped too far north and simply died of exposure."

"Like some bears, perhaps she was going to give birth while hibernating," noted one scientist. "Maybe her cave or resting place was extremely wet and cold, and she didn't survive long enough to give birth."

"Perhaps whatever it was she fed on ," another scientist added. "Maybe they were scarce that year, and she didn't get enough to eat."

"These are all possibilities," added Dr. LeFleur. "We'll have more information once we can analyze the contents of her stomach."

They had all kinds of questions regarding this enormous mother, and they were getting close to getting a good look at the child. The quickly melting ice was revealing more and more of the creature. With each new discovery, the information made its way across the internet. Pictures and speculation was rampant, but the team of scientists managed to get plenty of good science done.

She had the teeth similar to a bear. They surmised that she was a part of the bear family. She did have several traits of bears. Grizzly and polar bears can get quite large. However, they normally do not exceed 4 meters. A bear that large is quite a rarity. This animal was 80 times that size, which led to lots of questions about her origins. Without more information, they could only guess about these things. Once the DNA analysis was complete, they would have answers to a lot more questions, but that would be months away.

After diligently studying the creature for a couple of weeks, something happened that was completely unexpected. It was 4 AM when a research assistant made her way into Dr. LeFleur's tent. "Dr. LeFleur!" she stated anxiously. "Wake up professor! There's trouble!"

"What?" asked the doctor sleepily "what has happened?"

"He's gone..." the RA stated sheepishly.

"Who's gone?"

"Cassiel's baby," replied the RA.

"What?" asked Claude as he jumped out of bed "how is that possible?"

"The ice had melted enough..."

"Are you trying to tell me that the baby just fell out?" asked the Dr. LeFleur as he put on some pants over his pajamas.

"Well sir," stuttered the RA "It was more like a birth."

"But you said he was gone, did he fall into the bay?"

"Um, no sir, after he was born he walked away."

"What?"

"I know it is hard to believe, and I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't witnessed it."

"The baby was born alive?"

"Yes sir, we tried to follow him, but even on those baby legs he moved pretty quickly."

"Which way did he go?"

"Ur South..."

Posted by deg at October 16, 2005 8:34 PM

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