Monday, 20 November 2017

Ancient lizardlike creature bridged gap between land and sea

By Sid PerkinsNov. 7, 2017 , 7:01 PM

This beautifully preserved, nearly complete fossil is shedding new light on the evolution of the aquatic members of a small, enigmatic group of ancient reptiles called pleurosaurs. The bones belong to a new species of pleurosaur whose anatomical features weren’t fully adapted to water, but were on the way to enabling an aquatic lifestyle. The creature (which the scientists dubbed Vadasaurus, Latin for “wading lizard”) lived 155 million years ago and didn’t have the elongated trunk or relatively shorter limbs that later aquatic species of pleurosaurs did, the researchers report today in Royal Society Open Science. So, Vadasaurus would have been less streamlined overall than its aquatic kin, they suggest.

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