- Scientists have revealed that plesiosaur, an unusual underwater reptile that lived 201 million years ago, was a powerful swimmer.
- Whereas sea turtles mainly use their strong forelimbs for propulsion, the plesiosaurs moved all four limbs together, resulting in powerful thrust.
- The scientists bestowed the name Rhaeticosaurus mertensi on the unique fossil.
- According to the findings published in the journal Science Advances, the reconstructed length of the skeleton is 237 cm.
- These long extinct “paddle saurians” propelled themselves through the World’s oceans by employing “underwater flight” — similar to sea turtles and penguins.
- Instead of laboriously pushing the water out of the way with their paddles, plesiosaurs were gliding elegantly along with limbs modified to underwater wings. Their small head was placed on a long, streamlined neck. The stout body contained strong muscles keeping those wings in motion.