Fossil hunter finds new ‘sea dragon’ species

first_imgRare Sperm Whale fossil found during search for GoPro from Alligator attack June 7, 2021 AdvertisementEtches said in a press release published by the University of Portsmouth Wednesday that he was honored the discovery was named after him.“It’s excellent that new species of ichthyosaurs are still being discovered, which shows just how diverse these incredible animals were in the Late Jurassic seas,” Etches added.Scientists have now identified five species of ichthyosaur from the Late Jurassic period in the UK, according to CNN. They are known as sea dragons because of their usually large teeth and eyes.Fossils of ichthyosaurs from this period are rare, according to Jacobs, but this one was well-preserved because it settled in a very soft seafloor when it died.This meant the front part of its body sunk into the mud, protecting it from scavengers that ate the tail end.“Thalassodraco etchesi is a beautifully preserved ichthyosaur, with soft tissue preservation making it all the more interesting,” said Jacobs in the press release.Ichthyosaurs were highly adapted marine predators with big eyes, streamlined bodies and lots of conical teeth for catching fish.The newly identified species has a deep ribcage, small flippers and smooth teeth, which mark it out from other ichthyosaurs.“It almost looks like a barrel with tiny little flippers sticking out,” Jacobs told CNN.Thalassodraco etchesi likely would have glided through the water using its tail for propulsion rather than its fins, added Jacobs, and its deep ribcage correlates with large lungs which would have allowed it to dive deep underwater.The newly discovered species has even larger eyes than other ichthyosaurs, covering almost a quarter of its whole skull, which would have allowed it to see in low light conditions deep underwater, said Jacobs, who explained that its tiny smooth teeth were probably used to catch soft prey such as squid.This is the smallest ichthyosaur found so far. The largest known ichthyosaur lived in North America during the Triassic period and had skulls measuring almost five meters in length – 10 times larger than the Thalassodraco etchesi.The fossil will be displayed at the Etches Collection, a museum in Dorset which also houses Etches’ many other discoveries.The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved. Advertisement RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments A British fossil hunter has found a previously unidentified “sea dragon” on the southern English coast.Steve Etches unearthed the well-preserved ichthyosaur fossil in limestone on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, CNN reports. He thought the fossil was so unusual that he gave it to experts at the University of Portsmouth, southern England, to study.Megan Jacobs, a researcher at the University of Portsmouth and a PhD student at Baylor University, Texas, who has spent years working on ichthyosaurs, identified it as a new genus and species.The two-meter long ichthyosaurus, which lived 150 million years ago, has been named the “Etches sea dragon” (Thalassodraco etchesi). Could Banksy be behind this mural on the wall of a notorious British jail? March 2, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Englandfossil Local doctor urges residents to take COVID-19 vaccine once it’s available December 9, 2020 Advertisement Florida fossil hunter finds set of Dire Wolf teeth May 14, 2021last_img

Posts Tagged with… , , , , , , , , , , ,

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *