New prehistoric ‘Sea Dragon’ species discovered by fossil hunters near UK coastline


Scientists Have discovered fossils Mysterious sea reptiles dating back 150 million years belong to previously undiscovered species.

Well protected reptilE was found in a late Jurassic deep-sea deposit along the English Channel coastline in Dorset.

Experts say The aquatic reptile was part of a group known as ichthyosaurs, which have been known to have organized marine predators since the Late Jurassic period.

PEletontologist Megan L. Jacobs, A boiler university doctorial Candidate in geosciencses And co-author of a study published in the journal one more, said: “This ichthyosaur has many differences that make it quite unique to be its own genus and species.

“New Late Jurassic ichthyosaurs are extremely rare in the United Kingdom, as these creatures have been studied for over 200 years.

“We knew that it was almost immediately new, but it took almost a year to make sure that something was definitely right for us to compare with all the other Late Jurassic ichthyosaurs.

“Not being able to match was very exciting.”

Credit: Its Collection

Jacobs named this specimen ‘Thalassodraco etchesi‘, Which means’ Aches Sea Dragon’ – which is a sign Fossil collector Steve Etches MBE, who Sample found in 2009 After a cliff fell to the seashore.

Since being discovered, the specimen has been housed in Jurassic Marine Life’s The Etches Collection Museum in Kimerridge, Dorset.

Study co-author David Martill, PhD, professor of paleontology at the University of Portsmouth in Portsmouth, said: “Now that the new sea dragon has been officially named, it is time to investigate biology.

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“There are many things that make this animal special.”

Creature I amIt is estimated to be about 2.5 m (eight feet) long, and shares some similarities with sperm bearing ‘extremely deep rib cages’.

This may allow for larger lungs and extra space For internal organs so that they do not crush under pressure.

Credit: Megan Jacobs / David Martill
Credit: Megan Jacobs / David Martill

With large eyes, which allowed it to be seen in low light, it also had hundreds of small teeth – indicating its The diet may include squid and small fish.

Jacob continued: “They still had to breathe air on the surface and no scales.

“Nothing is really known about the biology of these animals.

“We can only guess from the fossils we have, but there is nothing like it around today.

“Eventually, to adapt to being completely aquatic, they can no longer go to the ground to lay eggs, so they evolved into making the first living young, tail.

“Skeletons have been found with infants within the mother and also those who were actually born.”

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