Arctic plesiosaur and ichthyosaur fossils found on Svalbard

This 2013 video is called Predator X [discovered on Svalbard] – Most powerful marine reptile ever – Planet Dinosaur – BBC.

The BBC reports:

‘Monster’ fossil find in Arctic

By Paul Rincon

Science reporter, BBC News

Norwegian scientists have discovered a “treasure trove” of fossils belonging to giant sea reptiles that roamed the seas at the time of the dinosaurs.

The 150 million-year-old fossils were uncovered on the Arctic island chain of Svalbard – about halfway between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole.

The finds belong to two groups of extinct marine reptiles – the plesiosaurs and the ichthyosaurs.

Ichthyosaurs bore a passing resemblance to modern dolphins, but they used an upright tail fin to propel themselves through the water.

Plesiosaurs are said to resemble descriptions of Scotland’s mythical Loch Ness monster.

They used two sets of powerful flippers for swimming and came in two varieties – one with a small head and very long neck, and another with a large head and short neck.

The short-necked varieties are known as pliosaurs.

The discovery of a gigantic pliosaur, nicknamed The Monster, was one of the most remarkable discoveries of the expedition.

Its skeleton has dinner-plate-sized neck vertebrae, and the lower jaw has teeth as big as bananas.

Tooth in the neck

The skeleton is not yet fully excavated, but its skull is about 3m long, suggesting the body could be more than 8m from the tip of its nose to its tail.

“What’s amazing here is that it looks like we have a complete skeleton.

No other complete pliosaur skeletons are known anywhere in the world,” said Dr Hurum.

The researchers even found evidence of an attack on one of the creatures.

An ichthyosaur tooth is embedded in a neck vertebra from one plesiosaur belonging to the genus Kimmerosaurus.

The fossil hoard comprises 21 long-necked plesiosaurs, six ichthyosaurs and one short-necked plesiosaur.

The bones were unearthed in fine-grained sedimentary rock called black shale.

See also here.

Ichthyosaur species from Canada: here.

These big marine reptiles are not dinosaurs, as is sometimes claimed wrongly.

Sunflowers in a hothouse in Svalbard, see here.

See also on Svalbard here.


16 thoughts on “Arctic plesiosaur and ichthyosaur fossils found on Svalbard

  1. Fossilized ichthyosaur bones back in Baker City
    2/12/2007, 12:01 a.m. PT
    The Associated Press

    BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — What may be Oregon’s oldest bones are back in Baker County.

    Six chunks of Wallowa Mountain limestone entomb fossilized bone fragments from an ichthyosaur, a porpoise-size, fish-eating reptile that hung out with the dinosaurs.

    It wasn’t a Baker County native. Paleontologists believe this one swam, and died, in a tropical sea near China about 220 million years ago.

    It took the bones about 100 million years to get to Baker County, and scientists say the fact that they did bolsters a geologic theory considered radical as recently as the 1970s.

    By spring the bones will be displayed at the Oregon Trail Regional Museum in Baker City. “I’m thrilled to death,” said Chary Mires, the museums coordinator. “I’ve wanted this for years.”

    The bones include segments of vertebrae, ribs and skull.

    The exhibit will include a drawing of an ichthyosaur, showing where each bone came from, she said.

    It started in 1979 when geology students from the University of Oregon were studying rocks along Eagle Creek northeast of Baker City and found fossils that appeared to be vertebrae and ribs.

    William Orr, a UO paleontology professor, concluded that they were from an ichthyosaur.

    Until then few ichthyosaur fossils had been found in Oregon and none near the Wallowa Mountains.


  2. 190 million-year-old dinosaur is going on tour
    By Mary Griffin

    IMPORTANT DISCOVERY: The ichthyosaur fossil found at Charmouth

    A DINOSAUR found in Dorset is set to tour the Jurassic Coast.

    Residents can get up close and personal with the 190 million-year-old marine reptile found near Charmouth.

    A display showing off the ichthyosaur will be travelling along the Dorset and Devon coast over the next 12 months.

    And the first chance to set eyes on the dinosaur will be at Lyme Regis Fossil Festival this weekend – just four kilometres from where the reptile was discovered.

    The Natural History Museum’s Dr Paul Davis unearthed the fossil two-and-a-half years ago and it now resides at the museum in London as part of the national collection.

    Dr Davis said: “It’s a real thrill to see the ichthyosaur going on show for the first time, so near to where it was found.

    “The Jurassic Coast holds a wealth of stories about life millions of years ago and this display highlights how new finds are continually adding to our understanding of the fossils already looked after by the museum. Because the fossil was found in an unusual location, experts believe it may prove to be a new species.

    Now, the team behind the touring display hopes to bring the dinosaur out of the museum and into the community.

    Dr Sam Rose, of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team, said: “We are looking to put the display into venues where you might not normally expect to see this type of thing, like libraries.

    “We are hoping people will go in for a book or a CD and come out understanding a bit more about the history of the Earth.

    The display will feature the dinosaur skeleton and information panels about the Jurassic Coast and the fossils found there.

    The ichthyosaur will be on show in the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, today and tomorrow.

    It will then move to the Lyme Regis Community Resource Centre for two weeks.

    The team expects to tour East Devon until the autumn, before touring the Dorset coast until next May.

    A full list of venues will be confirmed soon.

    2:08pm Saturday 5th May 2007


  3. Dec 4, 3:38 PM EST

    ‘Monster’ Arctic reptile remains found
    Buy AP Photo Reprints

    OSLO, Norway (AP) — Remains of a bus-sized prehistoric “monster” reptile found on a remote Arctic island may be a new species never before recorded by science, researchers said Tuesday.

    Initial excavation of a site on the Svalbard islands in August yielded the remains, teeth, skull fragments and vertebrae of a reptile estimated to measure nearly 40 feet long, said Joern Harald Hurum of the University of Oslo.

    “It seems the monster is a new species,” he told The Associated Press.

    The reptile appears be the same species as another sea predator whose remains were found nearby on Svalbard last year. His team described those 150-million-year-old remains as belonging to a short-necked plesiosaur measuring more than 30 feet – “as long as a bus … with teeth larger than cucumbers.”

    The short-necked plesiosaur was a voracious reptile often compared to the Tyrannosaurus rex of the oceans.

    Mark Evans, a plesiosaur expert at the Leicester City Museums in Britain, said he not know enough about the Norwegian find to comment on it specifically. But he said new types of the sea reptiles are being found regularly.

    “We are regularly seeing new species of plesiosaurs popping up – in a way because, in the past 10 or 15 years, there has been what we call a renaissance in plesiosaur research,” Evans said by telephone.

    Hurum said the team had only managed to excavate a 3-meter (yard) area of the find. The Norwegian-led team plans to present more detailed findings early next year, and return to Svalbard, 300 miles north of Norway’s mainland, to excavate further next year.

    On the Net:

    © 2007 The Associated Press


  4. it is wonderful but i have a question which is can i participate in any festival of fossil because I m seller FOSSILS and I live in morocco therefore i hope to participate in any festival of fossils to sell my beatufil fossils


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