This ocean is located near Nevada with a period of about 246 years ago. The sea dinosaur named Cymbospondylus youngirum this is a type of ichtyosaur, a giant marine reptile like fish and dolphins quoted from the New York Post.
Researchers estimate the new dinosaur body was as big as a sperm whale today. This means, this new dinosaur can grow up to 16 meters. Researchers found that these dinosaurs grew large after moving from land to sea. How come?
Big head sea dinosaur
There are some interesting things about marine dinosaur fossils that researchers found. Here’s the explanation.
1. Looks like a whale
The marine dinosaurs Ichtyosaurs and whales had much in common despite living several hundred million years apart. Both come from the lineage of animals that returned to the sea after living on land.
2. Small on land, giant on the sea
Ichtyosaurs and whales also both evolved to grow giant so that they became the largest creatures in the sea during their lifetime. However, it took whales 45 million years of living in the oceans to grow to their current size.
Meanwhile, this new species of giant ichtyosaur appeared in the ocean only 3 million years after the first ichtyosaurs lived in the ocean. This means, dinosaur This sea is able to evolve and grow at a very high speed. Previously, Cymbospondylus youngirum lived on land as small dinosaurs in general.
3. Eat sea lizards
Researchers are figuring out what this new giant sea lizard eats so it can evolve so quickly. Research by P. Martin Sander et al. published Friday (12/24/2021) seeks to reconstruct the dinosaur food web in Early Giant Reveals Faster Evolution of Large Body Size in Ichthyosaurs than in Cetaceans in the journal Science.
One of the researchers, evolutionary ecologist Eva Maria Griebeler from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, said the pointed teeth of this ichtyosaur species suggest that the herd ate fish, squid, and possibly smaller marine reptiles as well.
Griebeler’s research found, Cymbospondylus youngirum it can even get energy from ammonites, ancient squid-shaped animals with shells to grow big. He explained that these marine dinosaurs did not eat ammonites directly, but ate predators or animals that preyed on ammonites.
Jorge Velez-Juarbe, a member of the research team who discovered the first fossilized skull, shoulder and arm bones of an ichtyosaur in 1998-2015 in Fossil Hill, Nevada said the evolution of an ichtyosaur into a sea giant in such a short time could be due to its large eyes and endothermy. Because of this, this species has the ability to hunt prey better than other animals.
In addition, the great extinction on land at the time of the dinosaurs according to Velez-Juarbe supported the life of these dinosaurs to develop, while their predators were reduced. How are you, are you? dinosaur This giant sea is on your favorite dino list?
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(twu / row)