Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ancient Antarctic - "Sea Monster" Found

Fossils from the oldest recognized Antarctic "sea monster" have been found, a new study says.

The discovery of an 85-million-year-old plesiosaur has pressed back the marine reptile's attendance in Antarctica by 15 million years. The wreckage we found doesn’t fit in to any group registered on the continent previous to, which indicates a better diversity of the plesiosaurs in Antarctica than before suspected.

Wreckage of the vertebrae, head, and flippers propose the newfound plesiosaur was 20 to 23 feet (6 to 7 meters) long. The bones weren't, however, enough to identify the variety of the plesiosaur. Plesiosaurs roamed the seas worldwide between about 205 million to 65 million years ago, reaching the Southern Hemisphere by the mid-Jurassic. The animals had a range of unlike sizes and features, but mostly shared small heads, long necks, and big bodies. 

"If the Loch Ness monsters still exist, this would be its best representation,"

The sample was found amid additional than 2.5 tons of fossils and rock sample collected throughout an expedition to Antarctica's Ross Island in 2006 and 2007.Most of the material, stored at the National Museum, consists of invertebrates and plants, counting tree fragments that are the same age as the plesiosaur.

"The trees indicate that there were forests in Antarctica at that time," "We consider these animals lived in a very different environment from today's, in a temperate climate."

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