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The Floating Facts about the Oldest Plesiosaur

Researchers always come through various exciting facts about our past living beings that are extinct now, through their constant research. Paleontologist from the University of Bonn, Germany, have found that Plesiosaurs were very effective swimmers.

These long extinct 'paddle saurians' stretched themselves through the World's oceans by surviving through 'underwater flight. At the same time it is about 201 million years old. Plesiosaurs used to glide very gently with the help of their limbs that were modified underwater wings for them. Their strong body containing strong muscles helped a lot in keeping those wings in motion while diving. The small head of plesiosaur was placed on a long, streamlined neck; however, plesiosaurs’ tail was shorter than other marine reptiles. That short tail had no use except steering. It was really a rare species but it could not survive long. The plesiosaurs had a special feature to move all four limbs together, that ultimately resulted in powerful propel. The fossil was discovered by a private collector in a clay pit, in 2013, at Westphalia, Germany. It was said that it was a family of reptile from the Triassic of Jurassic period. But this finding was challenged by Prof. Sander of the University of Bonn while on sabbatical in Los Angeles. He added that the newly found plesiosaur represent the oldest plesiosaur at an age of about 201 million years. Scientists tried to analyze the growth marks found in the bones and they recognized that Rhaeticosaurus was a fast growing youngster. The thin sections were compared with those from young plesiosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous period. They reveled that Plesiosaurs apparently grew very fast before reaching sexual maturity. These kind of growth clearly indicated that plesiosaurs were warm-blooded reptiles.

By: Anita Aishvarya