They found a fossil of a “monstrous” sea creature 66 million years old: it could have measured up to 12 meters | Technology

They found a fossil of a "monstrous" sea creature 66 million years old: it could have measured up to 12 meters |  Technology

The remains of marine reptiles range from mosasaurs up to 12 meters long. His discovery opens up new questions about his diet.

A team of researchers presented the fossil in excellent condition of a marine creature –Great Reptile- It stalks the oceans in the Upper Cretaceous period, detailed in the study published in the journal Wednesday (08.24.2022) Cretaceous research.

This ancient marine animal that lived on Earth about 66 million years ago is called Thalassotitan atroxBelongs to the family of Mosasaurios.

Very well preserved fossil remains have been found MoroccoIn an area where there are many finds of this kind.

“T. atrox was an amazing and terrifying animal. You have to imagine it as a Komodo dragon crossed with a great white shark, A T crossed with a rex, then crossed with an orca”, explained lead author of the research Nick Longrich from the University of Bath (UK).

Artist’s illustration of a Thalassotitan Aatrox | Andrew Atushin

A sea creature much larger than modern

According to the size of the skull – 1.5 meters in length, vertebrae, limbs and tail bones, experts believe that this specimen was discovered. It could measure 9 to 10 meters in length, Slightly larger than orca.

There is no sea creature as big as the sea today MosasauriosIt can reach a length of at least 12 meters, almost twice the size of some modern reptiles such as crocodiles.

Although these animals have a reptilian head similar to that of a crocodile and fins similar to those of a shark, These aquatic creatures are more closely related to snakes and iguanas.

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Doubts about your diet

Researchers are trying to figure out what kind of food T. atrox had. Because of the wear and tear on his teeth, it is believed He hunted turtles and injured their gums with pieces of shellEvidence suggests it also followed other mosasaurs.

“We can’t say for sure which animal ate all the other mosasaurs, but we have the bones of a marine reptile that was killed and eaten by a large predator,” he says.

One of the teeth of the thalassotitan atrox found in Morocco.

“At the same location we found T. who fit the profile of the killer. Aatrox Discovered: This is a mosasaur that specializes in hunting other marine reptiles. It’s probably not a coincidence,” Longrich explained.

Under these theories, experts suggest that mosasaurs were more diverse creatures than previously thought, with different sizes and different types of food.

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