A massive prehistoric sea monster has been discovered in one of the driest places in the world.
Cymbospondylus Youngorum was discovered in Nevada’s Black Rock and was estimated to be 60 feet long from head to tail and weighs over 40 tons.
A prehistoric sea monster was discovered in one of the driest places in the world, which was once covered by a large sea.
The massive creature was discovered in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, which scientists believe lived 244 million years ago.
It was at least 60 feet long from head to tail and weighed more than 40 tons, making it comparable to today’s largest whales.
Cymbospondylus Youngorum belonged to the ichthyosaurs, a group of aquatic reptiles that evolved 2.5 million years ago and grew to be about three feet long.
Experts believe the discovery will help find more information about evolution, including how climate change has affected marine animals, which were reportedly wiped out by climate change 90 million years ago.
Cymbospondylus had a long snout with pointed teeth, according to Professor Martin Sander of the University of Bonn in Germany, who was the study’s lead author.
“It suggests a generalized diet of fish and squid, as it can be deduced from the teeth and stomach contents of most ichthyosaurs,” he explained.
“Because of its size, C youngorum could have preyed on smaller and young marine reptiles,” the researcher says.
The animal that ruled the oceans during the dinosaur era was identified thanks to its remarkably preserved skull, which measured over six feet in length.
After the Permian mass extinction 252 million years ago, Ichthyosaurs appeared in the oceans.
They had tuna-like bodies, but breathed like dolphins and whales.
The great white sharks of the day were the apex predators.
“Although whales are now the largest of Earth’s creatures, they were not the first oceanic giants to sail across the oceans,” said Professor Sander.
Cymbospondylus was “unusually large”, which involved an early and rapid eruption in the development of extreme body size in Mesozoic oceans.
“The evolution of whales took about 90% of their 55 million-year history to evolve into the ocean giants we know today,” Professor Sander said.
“In the first 1% of their 150 million-year history on Earth, ichthyosaurs evolved into similar sizes.”
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