Prehistoric monster - Leedsichthys grew up to 50ft. Image Credit: CC 3.0 Dmitry Bogdanov
The monstrous 16m-long Leedsichthys problematicus would have swam the ocean 160 million years ago.
The fossil remains of the sea-faring behemoth were unearthed at a quarry by an international science team led by Professor Jeff Liston of the National Museums of Scotland. The discovery is important because it shows that while the dinosaurs were increasing in size on land, creatures in the world's oceans were also getting larger.
Small fragments of Leedsichthys specimens have been found before however until now it wasn't possible to get a proper idea of the creature's full size. So problematic in fact was the collection of information about the species that these difficulties were even reflected in its name "problematicus".
Despite its huge size, Leedsichthys would have been a gentle giant, feeding on shoals of plankton by sweeping it up through its gills which acted like a filter. This mechanism proved highly effective, helping the species to thrive in the world's oceans until it was wiped out along with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Source: Guardian | Comments (21)
Fish, Dinosaur, Jurassic