Today in Ancient Squid News

Tully MonsterThis monster is no myth! The Tully Monster is real, it's here, it's extremely queer, and it's absolutely unquestionably Squid. I mean, look in those eyes.

The Tully Monster is the official state fossil of Illinois, having beaten out many an elderly barfly for the coveted honour. Nobody seems to know what the little stalks are, but they've decided, after no doubt having enjoyed a lovely crab dinner, that they must be eyestalks and therefore, and also because of the teeth, that must be the front end of the monster. One notes, one does, that the museum report goes out of its way to stress that there is no evidence that the area with the teeth, which you might be tempted to call a "mouth" connects with the esophagus. So, like, what does?

Tully Monster DioramaCuriouser and curiouser: how strange can this Squid get? They think maybe it just gnawed things with the teeth and then sort of slid around until the actual intake met up with the mangled prey and hoovered it up. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. How many years of nursery school do you need to become a paleontologist?

Whatever. You just gotta salute (with all ten tentacles) an ancient, unclassifiable Official State Fossil Squid-like Creature that was discovered by a wandering amateur loony with a metal detector and a collecting fetish.

Dan Tully directs visitors to his Homer Glen home with some simple instructions — it's the one with three tractors on the front lawn.

The retired Lockport cop collects everything from farm implements to belt buckles dug up on his frequent metal-detector forays.

But Tully will be the first to admit that none of his prospecting treasures has quite the stature of his dad's discovery: a 300-million-year-old fossilized creature so strange it was dubbed "Tully monster."

Tully Diagram

Dan's father, Francis X. Tully, found the fossil — now on display at the Field Museum as part of a new exhibit on evolution — when the two were on one of their weekend fishing and fossil-hunting trips around 1958 near Braidwood.

"He done most of the fossil huntin', and I done most of the fishin'," Tully joked recently, sitting behind a small black-and-white photo of his father, who died in 1987 at 75, holding up a model of the squid-like creature.

One thought on “Today in Ancient Squid News

  1. Pingback: Creepy Crawlie o’ the Day « raincoaster

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