New species of Jurassic reptiles discovered-Prelims-2017

  • Scientists have identified a new species of extinct marine reptiles, that lived during the age of the dinosaurs, from fossils collected over a century ago.
  • The newly identified species of British Ichthyosaur, which resembled dolphins or sharks, were ocean dwelling reptiles. They were fierce predators, some growing up to 15 metres long.
  • Ichthyosaur lived around 200 million years ago in the early Jurassic period, a time when the U.K. was a small series of islands.
  • The six year study, led by the University of Manchester, set out to search for British examples of Ichthyosaurs and researchers identified features in the skull and fins of fossilised remains that distinguished the new species from others.
  • The skeletal remains, out of which the new species has been identified was on display at the University of Bristol, for many years.

‘Quite amazing’

  • “It is quite amazing — hundreds of people must walk past this skeleton every day, yet its secrets have only just been uncovered,” said Mr. Lomax. “We have named the species Ichthyosaurus larkini in honour of the British palaeontologist Nigel Larkin — the name Larkin actually means ‘fierce’ so it is quite fitting for a fast-moving predator.
  • “Ichthyosaurs are among the more arresting and captivating fossil specimens known.

Source: The Hindu

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