Home » today » Technology » Scientists Discover Remains of Massive Marine Reptile in Southern England

Scientists Discover Remains of Massive Marine Reptile in Southern England

NOS news

Scientists believe they have discovered the remains of a 25-metre-long marine reptile in southern England. The animal must have swam in the oceans of the world more than 200 million years ago. With the length of two city buses in a row, it was the largest known marine reptile to have ever existed.

British paleontologists have continued to find new bone fragments in the Westbury Mudstone Formation in Somerset in recent years. The various pieces of bone turned out to be the jaws of a giant sea reptile.

The researchers had found similar bone remains a few kilometers away, which they thought all belonged to an unknown species of ichthyosaurs. They have named the new species Ichthyotitan severnensis.

Like a dolphin

Ichthyosaurs are somewhat similar to modern dolphins. They emerged about 250 million years ago and quickly reached a length of about 15 meters as adults. Their quick shape allowed them to move at high speed and hunt for fish and squid.

At the end of the Triassic, more than 200 million years ago, they reached their maximum length – apparently at least about 25 meters. They did not enjoy their status as the largest marine reptile for a long time: during the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, 201.4 million years ago, more than 20 percent of marine animals became extinct. Among the victims were also the ichthyosaurs.

Very skeletal

The researchers make a small mistake, because they determine the length based on very few bones that remain. They hope to one day come across a skull or even an entire skeleton of the marine reptile.

We hope that these new discoveries will allow a more accurate estimate in the future. Even today, comparable animals still swim around the world’s oceans. The blue whale can grow even to 26 to 30 meters in length, but it belongs to the group of mammals.

Ichthyosaur fossils are more commonly found in south-west Britain. In 2022, a maintenance engineer found another in a drained water reservoir. A small one, compared to the new discovery: only 10 meters long.

2024-04-17 17:42:57
#Scientists #discovered #fossilized #remains #largest #marine #reptile #time

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.