Oldest plesiosaur was a strong swimmer: study


  • Scientists have revealed that plesiosaur, an unusual underwater reptile that lived 201 million years ago, was a powerful swimmer.

More details:

  • 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.

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