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Tag: reptile

Jurassic marine reptile was warm-blooded, had blubber, used camouflage

Jurassic marine reptile was warm-blooded, had blubber, used camouflage

Science
Dec. 5 (UPI) -- New research suggests Jurassic ichthyosaurs were more like modern marine mammals than previously realized. The ancient marine reptiles were ubiquitous in the Jurassic oceans. Studies of ichthyosaur fossils suggest they were dolphin-like in appearance, but until now, paleontologists knew relatively little about their biology and behavior. According to the new study, the reptiles were warm-blooded, had blubber and used coloration to camouflage themselves from predators. "Ichthyosaurs are interesting because they have many traits in common with dolphins, but are not at all closely related to those sea-dwelling mammals," Mary Schweitzer, professor of biological sciences at North Carolina State University, said in a news release. Previous research suggested ichthyosaurs gave l...
Reptile with massive jaws lived in Connecticut 200 million years ago

Reptile with massive jaws lived in Connecticut 200 million years ago

Science
March 23 (UPI) -- Some 200 million years ago, what's now Connecticut was home to a massive-mouthed reptile. According to new research published in the journal Nature Communications, the jaws of Colobops noviportensis were much larger than those of other reptiles from the Triassic.Even compared to today's diversity of reptiles, the ancient lizard-like species boasted an impressively large bite -- especially considering the reptile' small size."Colobops would have been a diminutive but plucky little beast, part of a little-known menagerie of small animals that lived among the first dinosaurs," Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, assistant professor and assistant curator in geology and geophysics at Yale University, said in a news release. "Despite its lizard-like aspect, it is in fact an early branch-off o...
Sea reptile fossil gives clues to life in ancient oceans

Sea reptile fossil gives clues to life in ancient oceans

Science
A new fossil is shedding light on the murky past of the sea reptiles that swam at the time of the dinosaurs.With tiny heads on long necks and four pointed flippers, plesiosaurs have been likened to Scotland's mythical Loch Ness monster.The German discovery proves that these sea creatures were alive more than 200 million years ago during the Triassic.The fossilised bones give clues to how the animal survived a mass extinction that wiped out most living things.''We now have the proof that this extremely successful group of marine reptiles already existed during Triassic times,'' said paleontologist Martin Sander of the University of Bonn, who examined the fossil with colleague, Tanja Wintrich. ''This had been suspected for over 150 years, but it took a surprisingly long time for the hard evi...