Australian ichthyosaur fossil shows wounds

This video is called Dr. Robert Bakker – Ichthyosaur fossil.

From COSMOS magazine:

Ancient sea monster shows off battle scars

by Greg Dash

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

CARDIFF: A discovery of scars on the fossilised skeleton of an Australian ichthyosaur – a 120 million-year-old dolphin-like marine reptile – suggests that life might not have been easy in the ancient polar oceans.

Unearthed in a remote desert near the town of Marree in northern South Australia, the fossil provides a rare insight into the social behaviour of these large, extinct sea animals.

“Not much is really known about ichthyosaur behaviour, which is why rare evidence like these bite wounds are so important. Such finds have also rarely been reported in ichthyosaurs before”, said co-author Benjamin Kear from the Palaeobiology Programme at Uppsala University in Sweden of the paper published in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

Prehistoric bite marks

Reaching speeds of up to 40 km/h, ichthyosaurs were high-speed pursuit predators that hunted small prey such as fish, squid-like animals, and even hatchling sea turtles. Adults of this particular kind of ichthyosaur, (Platypterygius), grew to about six metres and shared the cold Cretaceous polar seas with a diversity of plesiosaurs – long-necked marine reptiles that ranged from the size of a seal to the length of a bus.

ScienceDaily (May 17, 2011) — The mass extinction of marine life in our oceans during prehistoric times [late Cretaceous] is a warning that the same could happen again due to high levels of greenhouse gases, according to new research: here.

7 thoughts on “Australian ichthyosaur fossil shows wounds

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