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Triassic squid beak

Triassic Kraken

Vital statistics

Kind Other
Country Nevada, North America
First documented sighting 2011 (hypothesized)
Latest documented sighting 2013 (fossil evidence)
Other names Triassic squid

Scientific information

Recognized by science? No (accepted by some)
Proposed species name
Major investigators Mark McMenamin

Popular Culture

Episodes featured in
Pop culture references
When you consider that all other explanations for the Ichthyosaur death assemblage have failed, the plausibility goes up. It is currently the leading hypothesis, and none of the critics so far has proposed a fatal or even relatively significant objection.

– Mark McMenamin.

The Triassic Kraken is a hypothetical giant squid hypothesized by palaeontologist Mark McMenamin to have existed in the Triassic era, in Nevada, North America.

Behaviour and traitsEdit

The Kraken is believed by McMenamin to have been highly intelligent, preying on Shonisaurus and creating art of its own tentacles using the bones.



A large fossil site in Nevada contains various bones of Shonisaurus, very large icthyosaurs. Analysis reveals they died in deep water. The bones are arranged in a curious, unnatural pattern.


In 2011, McMenamin and Dianna Schulte argued that the pattern of the bones was the work of a giant Triassic Kraken which was making a portrait of its own tentaces. Although the suggestion was met with hostility, it remains the only theory on the bones not to have been disproven.


McMenamin held another talk on the subject in 2013. This time, he used a recently found Triassic squid beak as evidence. He hypothesized that the animal, in life, was the size of a school bus.