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Viewings: 3356Described "the first sea monster" - the earliest giant marine reptile that lived 244 million years ago. The length of one of the first ichthyosaurus is estimated 8.6 m
Unlike other representatives of this group, whose diet consisted mainly of fish and shellfish, Thalattoarchon saurophagis ate most likely larger prey, including other ichthyosaurs.
It should be noted that the view lived just 4 million years after the appearance in the fossil record of marine reptiles and over 8 million years after the mass the Permian extinction, which destroyed 90% of life in the ocean. This is a perfect example and the rapid evolution of large carnivores, and rapid recovery of marine ecosystems after the disaster.
The animal also illustrates the convergence of evolution: land reptiles acquired streamlined shape and turned into marine life in much the same way as from terrestrial mammals could whales and dolphins.
The remains were discovered in 1998 in the remote mountains of the Central part of the U.S. state of Nevada. Several years later, other researchers have focused on the description of the unusual teeth with two cutting edges. Scientists have returned to the site and eventually found there a large skull, which was defined a new type.
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