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It was the first marine giant on our planet the size of an amber whale

It was the first marine giant on our planet the size of an amber whale

a Reported by the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Examination of the skull bone of the first giant fish lizard, about two meters long, which reveals how in the age of dinosaurs these marine creatures became so huge. This knowledge also helps to understand some of the questions about the evolution of cetaceans living today.

The fossil, nicknamed Jim2, may have been 17 meters long based on its two-meter-high skull and lived in the middle of the Triassic period, 242-244 million years ago. The fish lizards that dominate the oceans, albeit the ichthyosaurs, were of the same diversity and size as the dinosaurs on land, they developed a streamlined body and special fins, just as we see in fish or cetaceans. From the ancient rocks of the Augusta Mountains in Nevada, a surviving skull appeared representing the oldest known fish lizard that evolved to gigantic size. the Cymbospondylus youngorum Almost scientifically named animal. It was the size of a large amber whale, making it the largest of its age (both in water and on land).

The remains of countless Triassic marine animals were discovered at the Nevada site, and their systematic collection has given experts a rather complex picture of marine life at the time, as the cephalopods and fish lizards they hunted grew like giants. Jim Youngorom also appeared. The giant lived about 3 million years after the first fish lizards formed, a surprisingly short time for an animal of this size to have evolved. The long nose and cone-shaped teeth of the animal indicate that it may have hunted fish and cephalopods, but due to its size, it may have killed even smaller or smaller fish lizards.

Building on the totality of the findings, the researchers ran a computer simulation of the former marine animals and found that other large predators may have found a niche. Fish lizards, of varying sizes, lifestyles, and methods of harvesting, lived comfortably close to one another, much like the whales in today’s oceans, from baby dolphins to sperm whales.

The difference between the former giant fish lizard and the amber whale that lives today. While it took a few million years for fish lizards to become giants, cetaceans grew much slower in their current size range.

Source: Science / Stephanie Abramovich

Whales and fish lizards are not only similar in size. Each group of animals has a very similar body structure and they all appeared after a major extinction, and based on these similarities, it is worth comparing them from a scientific point of view.

The research team used computer modeling to examine how ancient and living giants became formidable. It turns out that they took a completely different evolutionary path than theirs: fish lizards quickly became giants, but cetaceans took much longer to do so. They also come across points in common, perhaps not coincidentally, that both the giant fish lizard and the amber whale being studied consume cephalopods. A relationship was also found between massive size and tooth loss, and here we can cite silage cakes as an example.

Fish lizards may have become giants very quickly, because after the end of the Permian extinction, ammonites and jawless eel-like conodonts spread very quickly, filling ecological niches that emptied at the extinction. About search results Science reported in a scientific journal.

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