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Palaeontology

Ancient sea monster was the size of a bus

May 26, 2017 | Comment icon 3 comments


Palaeontologists in Russia have discovered a huge new sea creature that lived 130 million years ago.
This enormous marine reptile, which was a type of short-necked plesiosaur, had a set of huge teeth and powerful jaws that would have made it one of the top ocean predators of its time.

Its name, Luskhan itilensis, literally means 'Master Spirit from the Volga river' - a reference to the location at which its 5 foot-long skull was originally unearthed.

At an estimated 21ft in length it wasn't the largest of the plesiosaurs (some of them grew up to 49ft), however its physical features included a peculiar mishmash of traits from other species, meaning that its discovery could serve to rewrite the book on the evolution of marine reptiles in general.

Its long, slim snout in particular made it look more like a river dolphin than a plesiosaur.

"This is the most striking feature, as it suggests that pliosaurs colonized a much wider range of ecological niches than previously assumed," said study lead author Valentin Fischer.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (3)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
The picture kind of makes it look like a penguin ancestor.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Future ghost 5 years ago
If they were top predators they must've killed their prey with cuteness.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew 5 years ago
Soon to be starring in "Happy Feet III" or should that be Happy Flippers?


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