Ichthyosaur age of 180 million years was pregnant vosmerka
Paleontologists have discovered among the found in the UK parts of the skeleton of the ichthyosaur Stenopterygius remains from six to eight embryos.
Paleontologists have discovered among the found in the UK parts of the skeleton of the ichthyosaur Stenopterygius remains from six to eight embryos. Read more the study can be found in the article in PNAS.
Rocks in North Yorkshire near the town of Whitby, folded rocks of the Jurassic period, gave paleontologists a lot of finds of ichthyosaurs. The largest representatives of this group reached 24 meters in length. Not to climb onto land for the production of offspring, reptiles have moved to live births, but the surviving remains of their embryos — a rarity. Parts of the skeleton, was found in 2010 belonged to the sixth known in the UK a pregnant female ichthyosaur and the most prolific of them. He became the first skeleton of a pregnant ichthyosaur in North Yorkshire and the youngest of the famous.
The sample is a boulder split in half, which retains the ribs and vertebrae of adult female ichthyosaur remains from six to eight cubs. At first, scientists assumed that the small bones did not belong to the progeny of the female, and her lunch, and was in the stomach.
However, it is unlikely that the ichthyosaur had ingested from 6-8 aborted or newborn babies. In addition, the remains of the embryos found no trace of damage from the gastric juice.
They are not like normal stomach contents of ichthyosaurs: the main food of these creatures were cephalopods belemnites that resemble modern squid.
Scientists have previously carried the sample to Stenopterygius — European family of ichthyosaurs, the remains of which often contain embryos. Especially many of them were found in Germany. However, the safety of this sample does not allow to identify with certainty, to what race he belonged.