In Nevada, USA, paleontologists have discovered an impressive fossilized skull of a huge sea monster, which comes to us from the time of the dinosaurs. The skull, about 246 million years old, was larger than that of the Tyrannosaurus, while the body of the monster is estimated to have exceeded 17 meters and weighed 45 tons. This is an unexpected one large species of fish lizard, the first known giant animal on Earth.
What we know about fish lizards
Fish lizards looked like giant fish and terrorized the seas at a time when dinosaurs dominated the land. They evolved rapidly, reaching such a large size in just 2.5 to three million years. The researchers named the new species Cymbospondylus youngorum. The fossils (of the giant skull and part of the body) were excavated in 2015, but only now – after many years of study – have the scientists announced their findings.
“As far as we know, it was the first giant creature to live on Earth. We assume that fish lizards could have evolved so fast because they were the first largest creatures in the world’s oceans. So they were less exposed to competition.” “Imagine an animal like a sea dragon,” said Lars Smith, an associate professor of biology at Scripps College in California.
The fossil will be housed permanently in the County Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles, and a replica of the skull will soon be on display at the Goldfuss Museum of the University of Bonn in Germany.
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Source: Digital Life! by www.digitallife.gr.
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