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Paleontologists find giant lizard in stomach of a prehistoric marine carnivore

Paleontologists find giant lizard in stomach of a prehistoric marine carnivore

Science
Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Until now, scientists thought ichthyosaurs -- the large, dolphin-like marine reptiles that cruised the seas of the Mesozoic -- mostly ate cephalopods. "Many of the large ichthyosaurs have blunt teeth that look more suited for squid-eating than megapredation," researcher Ryosuke Motani, professor of paleobiology at the University of California, Davis, told UPI in an email. "That is why we thought they were squid eaters." Advertisement But recently, Motani and his research partners discovered the well-preserved remains of a lizard-like aquatic reptile called a thalattosaur inside the stomach of Middle Triassic ichthyosaur. The fossil, described Thursday in the journal iScience, represents the oldest record of megafaunal predation by a marine reptile. "We have to readjust ou...