Sunday, 19 June 2016

UK researcher discovers new 200 million year old marine reptile

JUNE 14, 2016
by Chuck Bednar

A fossil previously discovered in a quarry at Nottinghamshire, England has been identified as a new species of ichthyosaur – an extinct marine reptile which dates back some 200 million years to the earliest part of the Jurassic Period – according to new research published Monday.

The fossil was identified by Dean Lomax, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester who explained that the creature is one of just a few ichthyosaur species dating back to that era, which makes the discovery of this dolphin-like creature very significant to the scientific community.

It also marks the first time that a species this ancient has been located in the UK in a place other than Dorset and Somerset, he noted. Lomax examined the specimen while visiting the New Walk Museum in Leicester, which acquired the partially-complete skeleton of the creature in 1951.

“When I first saw this specimen, I knew it was unusual,” he said in a statement. “It displays features in the bones – especially in the coracoid (part of the pectoral girdle) – that I had not seen before in Jurassic ichthyosaurs anywhere in the world. The specimen had never been published, so this rather unusual individual had been awaiting detailed examination.”

UK’s first Early Jurassic ichthyosaur specimen in 30 years
The creature was represented by a skull, pectoral bones, pelvic bones, limbs, ribs, and vertebrae, the university said. While relatively complete, the remains were described as “disorderly,” as it appeared as though the carcass had settled into the seabed prior to becoming fossilized.


No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails