Unearth the bones of the “crocodile jaw” sea monster in Wyoming, USA

A new species of sea monster compared to other plesiosaur species has just been discovered, with its long neck and huge jaws for hunting fish.

Millions of years ago, a giant long-necked marine reptile undulated through the waters of an ancient sea route in what is now Wyoming. This giant marine reptile possesses a long zigzag neck and uses crocodile-like jaws to catch fish and other small sea creatures.

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Paleontologists discovered fossils of this sea monster in 1995 during an excavation, this sea monster dates from the Cretaceous period, immediately following the Jurassic period (about 101 million to 66 million years old. before). And unlike the species plesiosaurs In other words, this animal has identifiable features that set it apart from other species in this extinct group of marine reptiles.

Recently, researchers have just revealed a new discovery about this water monster. Follow Walter Scott minds IVa paleontologist from Charleston University in South Carolina and lead author of the study, suggested that Plesiosaurs There are usually two species with different characteristics that make them easier to identify, one possessing a long, zigzag neck with a small head, similar to the Lock Ness monster, while the other has a short neck and jaws. as long as a crocodile. But in this case, the water monster that the team unearthed is one of the “unique” species when it comes to possessing all the advantages of both species.

Unearth the bones of the "crocodile jaw" sea monster in Wyoming, USA

Paleontologists named this animal Serpentisuchops pfisterae , which means “pointed face”. The skeleton found of this 7-meter-long sea monster has been on display in the Glenrock Museum of Paleontology near Casper, Wyoming, since it was excavated more than 25 years ago.

Unearth the bones of the "crocodile jaw" sea monster in Wyoming, USA

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Over the next several decades, paleontologists conducted detailed studies of the remains of the animal, which made up about 35% of the body and included “beautifully preserved lower jaw, skull, neck, etc. intact, the vertebrae, the entire tail and some ribs The only parts the group were missing were a few small but very important parts, including the fin that allowed the sea monster to swim. Underwater.

19 teeth were found at the excavation site, of which only one remained intact in the jaw of the specimen, while the rest were scattered around. However, according to the study, the presence of roots in the jawbone confirmed that the teeth were from this particular specimen and not of another type. plesiosaur.

Unearth the bones of the "crocodile jaw" sea monster in Wyoming, USA

The teeth were found to be tall, smooth and non-serrated, so the animal would not be able to bite through thick skeletons. Teeth have a single function, which is to do a very good job of stabbing and skewering prey. It is capable of chasing slippery prey that do not cause much difficulty in combat, such as small fish or squid.

This new discovery has revealed a whole new ecology, an animal species that specializes in a different way from all other species. plesiosaurs other at the same time.


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