You wouldn't want to be in the water with one of these. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Roland Tanglao
Scientists have unearthed the fossil remains of a gargantuan marine reptile from the time of the dinosaurs.
Originally discovered on Antarctica's Seymour Island during an expedition all the way back in 1989, the record-breaking specimen, which is the heaviest of its kind ever found, took years to unearth.
Believed to date back to the Cretaceous era, this prehistoric 'sea monster' was an elasmosaur - a type of plesiosaur that looked a bit like a large manatee with a very long neck and four flippers.
Measuring almost 40ft in length and weighing in at 15 tons, this enormous creature would have been a force to be reckoned with in the ocean at a time when Tyrannosaurus rex roamed the land.
The discovery adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that there existed a diverse and thriving marine ecosystem in the years prior to the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.
"Even in Antarctica, there were lots of happy elasmosaurs," said palaeontologist Anne Schulp.
Source: National Geographic | Comments (1)