The oldest giant ichthyosaur has been discovered in the USA

Earth’s first-known giant was as big as a #spermwhale @sciencemagazine

— (@physorg_com) December 23, 2021

There was an ocean at this place many millions of years ago, and therefore scientists have been finding various fossils of prehistoric sea creatures in local canyons for many decades.

In 1998, paleontologists discovered strange fossilized vertebrae of a very large creature in the rock, but full-fledged research was started only in 2011. In December 2021, scientists finally presented to the whole world a mysterious sea creature, which was named Cymbospondylus youngorum. Experts found his skull along with part of the spine and forelimbs, as well as part of the shoulder.

This giant ichthyosaur had a skull two meters long, a body of 17 meters, and its weight reached 45 tons. It lived in the Middle Triassic epoch (244-242 million years ago) and had an elongated body with a tail and fin limbs, and a long snout with sharp teeth. As scientists suggest, he hunted fish, squid and smaller ichthyosaurs.

Experts note that the found Cymbospondylus youngorum was the largest animal on Earth and the first giant creature in the history of the planet, since both dinosaurs and whales became giants much later. 

In addition, scientists note the uniqueness of this ancient creature, which descended from relatively small terrestrial creatures that went to live in the ocean, and in just three million years turned into an incredible giant. According to the author of the study, the first ichthyosaurs were no more than a meter. For comparison, it took whales about 45 million years for these purposes, writes .

“…group of scientists describe the new ichthyosaur, which they named Cymbospondylus youngorum, and reconstructed its food webs in a paper published on Thursday in the…” occurred in:

— NYTfirstsaid Context (@NYT_said_where) December 23, 2021

The discovery of a giant marine reptile skull in Nevada questions the speed of evolution and how quickly the process can produce diversity.
The more than 200 million years old ichthyosaur fossil has revealed to be a new species: Cymbospondylus youngorum

— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) December 24, 2021

Alright, before finishing Cervismas, i just wanted to make a short… nah just kidding, i am gonna post some thoughts on the Ladinian lord and saviour, the recently described Cymbospondylus youngorum. Before that: the hashtags – #paleontology #scicomm #ichthyosaur (1/?)

— René De (@Rendedeer) December 26, 2021 New Year’s sale: discounts up to – 60%

Ekaterina Gura

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