Scientists have discovered a marine animal from the Cretaceous period. This terrifying creature, Jörmungandr walhallensis, lived 80 million years ago in what is now North Dakota, writes… Live sciences. Research leader Amelia Zietlow said so
The animal may have resembled a finned Komodo dragon, only larger.
In 2015, Zietlow and his colleagues discovered the skull, jaw, cervical spine, and several nearly complete vertebrae of a 7-meter-long mosasaurus. The team described the sea creature in a study published Monday in the journal Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.
Their analysis showed that the animal possessed several features that matched two known mosasaurs. Jormungandr walhallaensis lived alongside dinosaurs during the Cretaceous Period (about 145 million to 66 million years ago).
It had huge fins and a shark-like tail that helped it glide through the water.
Paleontologists still disagree about whether mosasaurs were more closely related to lizards or snakes. However, these newly described species may provide researchers with further insight.