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Scientists find young plesiosaur in Antarctic


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#1    __Kratos__

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:53 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Scientists from the United States and Argentina have recovered the fossil skeleton of a young plesiosaur -- a marine reptile that lived some 70 million years ago -- in Antarctica, institutes from both countries said on Monday.

"The fossil remains represent one of the most-complete plesiosaur skeletons ever found and is thought to be the best-articulated fossil skeleton ever recovered from Antarctica," the U.S.  National Science Foundation said.

Long-necked plesiosaurs swam in the oceans in the southern ocean when the Earth was far warmer than it is today, the Foundation said in a joint statement with the Argentine Antarctic Institute, which co-funded the exhibition.

The skeleton is about 5 feet long, one sixth the size of an adult, and its stomach area was very well-preserved.

"The researchers speculate volcanism similar to the massive eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington in 1980, may have caused the animal's death," the statement said.

Scientists believe the area where the fossil and other partial plesiosaur remains were found may have been a shallow area where marine reptiles gave birth and where young remained until they were big enough to go into open waters.

It was tough work getting the remains off of Vega Island in Antarctica due to freezing weather and 70 mph (113-kph) winds, the statement said.

"At the end of the work, icy temperatures turned water to slush before plaster could be mixed to encase the fossil for transportation,"

"The ground was so frozen, a digging tool snapped in half during the excavation. Finally, a jackhammer had to be carried up to the site in backpacks along with gasoline, plaster, and water," the statement said.

Then, the remains were so heavy, five people had to lift them into an Argentine military helicopter that was flown in to help out.

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Pretty amazing find! Kind of curious as of what else was preserved for study in the freezing ground.

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#2    Aztec Warrior

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:58 PM

Buried in volcanic ash, when Antarctica was "far" warmer than it is today. How is that possible, unless the dinosaur's caused global warming.  "Years in the making".

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#3    Shaftsbury

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 09:19 PM

It's possible partially due to plate tectonics.

Both poles were warmer during the Cretaceous.  santa.gif

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#4    frogfish

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 11:15 PM

During the Mesozoic Era, the landmass that is now Antarctica layed on the equator. Antarctica used to be a lush rainforest, and had mnay, MANY species of dinosaurs.

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#5    Orion437

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 01:25 AM

Wow...nice find.

I didnt hear about it in the news here.

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#6    Tillghast

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 08:41 PM

Sweet. Awesome find.

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#7    frogfish

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:52 PM

I wonder if it is a new species of Plesiosaur.

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#8    dantheman2435

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 02:35 AM

Quite a discovery! It's always fun to find nearly complete fossils.


#9    Nessie Lives!!!

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 05:52 AM

Yup agreed and anyway good post!


#10    jonas16

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 01:25 PM

Good find! This is very interesting that they found a plesiosaur in the Antarctic.. I've also read, that they have discovered a new species of dinosaur in the Antarctic, i don't remember what it was.


#11    frogfish

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:36 PM

There are currently 20+ dinosaur species found in the landmass that is now Antarctica...It's nothing new.

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#12    speshall mareens

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:15 AM

discoveries in the antarctic are so rare because its to freakin cold there. the climate was warmer and the landmas was toward the equator, but headed south causing cold winters in the cretacose, crap i forgot the spelling, but i hope you get it. below is a picture of an odd carinvore discivered there. however i don't like the artist because of his colors and all the spines he put on and the stuff with no byast argument to support there bieng but hey, watchya gonna do?

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#13    speshall mareens

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:16 AM

why isn't my display picture working!!!


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