The remains found on the banks of the Volga.
An international group of scientists, including Russian paleontologists, discovered on the banks of the Volga, the fossil of a previously unknown species of aquatic reptiles. Large marine reptile called Luskhan itilensis (from the Latin: “master spirit” of ITIL, that is, the Volga), lived in the early Cretaceous period 130 million years ago.
The fossil was discovered in 2002 near the city of Ulyanovsk, but now it was identified as a new species.
Pliosaurs with their short neck are a variety of plesiosaurs — lizards with fins and barrel-shaped body. This group of reptiles lived at the same time with the dinosaurs, but despite the similarity, belonged to a different infraclass. Their remains are in the territory of the ancient seas.
Skull Luskhan itilensis, the size of which is 1.5 m, suggests that this was a rather large creature. Narrow rostrum (front part of the skull, including the mandible) are typical for river predators — Gharial and river dolphins. According to the researchers, this means that pliosaurs have mastered a wider range of ecological niches than previously thought.
Pleasure reigned in the seas about 135 million years, but disappeared long before the mass extinction event that occurred 66 million years ago. “The main spirit from the Volga” was the largest of pliosaurus. For example, the fossil skull of Pliosaurus kevani, found in 2009 on the Jurassic coast (South of England), was the size of almost 2 m. it is believed that the dinosaurs reached 15 m in length.
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