Fossil of "Loch Ness monster" discovered in Antarctica



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The fossil "Loch Ness monster", discovered in Antarctica and dating back 70 million years, weighed 15 tons and was the largest marine reptile ever to have lived.

  • Experts have found the remains of a massive elasmosaurus dating back 70 million years
  • Elasmosaurus is a genus of plesiosaur that lived in the Late Cretaceous
  • The creature is one of the most complete ancient reptilian fossils ever discovered
  • This research adds to the evidence that a vibrant marine ecosystem existed just before the massive extinction of dinosaurs

Fossil hunters have found the remains of a huge sea creature that strangely resembles the monster of Loch Ness.

The researchers discovered the remains of a huge Elasmosaurus, 70 million years old, weighing 15 tons and coming from the depths of the Antarctic.

Experts say that the 40-foot-long animal is a member of the family of reptiles, the elasmosaurid, and that it is the largest of its kind ever found.

The research adds to the evidence that a vibrant marine ecosystem existed just before the massive extinction of the dinosaurs.

Some people think that 'Nessie & # 39; is a long-necked plesiosaur, like an elasmosaurus, who survived when the dinosaurs were annihilated.

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Fossil hunters have found the fossilized remains of a huge sea creature, dubbed the true Loch Ness monster. The researchers found that the remains of a huge elasmosaurus dating back 70 million years would have weighed 15 tons (artist impression)

Fossil hunters have found the fossilized remains of a huge sea creature, dubbed the true Loch Ness monster. The researchers found that the remains of a huge elasmosaurus dating back 70 million years would have weighed 15 tons (artist impression)

WHAT IS A ELASMOSAURE?

Elasmosaurids are a monophyletic group of extremely long-necked plesiosaurs.

They had the longest necks of the plesiosaurs and survived from the Upper Triassic to the late Cretaceous.

Their diet consisted mainly of crustaceans and molluscs.

Although many elasmosaurids have been collected in the upper crustacean of Antarctica, skulls are extremely rare.

The first elasmosaurids were of medium size, about 6 m (20 ft).

In the Late Cretaceous, elasmosaurids reached 11.5-12 m, such as Styxosaurus, Albertonectes and Thalassomedon. T

The neck of his heirs was between 32 and 76 cervical vertebrae (Albertonectes). They weighed up to several tons.

The resemblance of Nessie's head and neck with that of a dinosaur prompted people to say that it was a sauropod surviving.

These were terrestrial dinosaurs, breathing the air. While swimming, Nessie had to take her head out of the water once every few seconds.

The Nessie myth-as sauropods may have been inspired by the nineteenth-century theory that Brachiosaurus spent most of his time in the water, which would help support his enormous weight.

Elasmosaurus is a genus of plesiosaur that lived in North America at the Late Cretaceous Campanian stage, about 80.5 million years ago.

The fossil is now one of the most complete fossils of ancient reptiles ever discovered.

Some believe that the creature, who had a long, giraffe-like neck and a snake-like head, survived when the dinosaurs were exterminated.

"For years, it was a mystery … we did not know whether it was elasmosaurous or not," said paleontologist Jose O 's Gorman Council National Scientific and Technical Research of Argentina at National Geographic.

& # 39; They were a kind of strange plesiosaurs that no one knew. & # 39;

To be sure, the researchers needed a more complete specimen and, in doing so, they had a potential candidate.

William Zinsmeister of Purdue University discovered a specimen on Seymour Island, just south of the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, on an expedition in 1989.

At the time, however, he did not have the resources to search the fossil record, but he informed Argentine researchers of this discovery.

Experts say that the 40-foot-long animal is a member of the family of reptiles, the elasmosaurid, and that it is the largest of its kind ever found. The research adds to the evidence that a vibrant marine ecosystem existed just before the massive extinction of the dinosaurs

Experts say that the 40-foot-long animal is a member of the family of reptiles, the elasmosaurid, and that it is the largest of its kind ever found. The research adds to the evidence that a vibrant marine ecosystem existed just before the massive extinction of the dinosaurs

But then, the Argentine Antarctic Institute became involved and began digging the fossil in 2012, which took years because of weather conditions and logistical problems.

Finally, in 2017, the excavations were completed and allowed to recover a significant part of the skeleton of the animal.

The new specimen is also very interesting because it dates so close to the end of the Cretaceous, only 30 000 years before the massive extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.

The researchers explained that a lot of marine life should have flourished to satisfy the appetite of a creature of this size.

The fact that these animals continued to exist so late in the Cretaceous adds to the evidence that the aquatic world, at least, continued to thrive until the sudden mass extinction.

"Even in Antarctica, there were many happy elasmosaurs," said Anne National Schulp, a vertebrate paleontologist from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, who did not participate in the research.

"The different morphology of this species also shows that the specialization was still at this advanced stage of the existence of the plesiosaurs.

"This clearly indicates that towards the end of the Cretaceous, plesiosaurs managed to expand their repertoire of food," she said.

The research is published in Cretaceous Research.

WHAT DO THE PEOPLE OF LOCH NESS MONSTER THINK?

Rumors about a strange creature living in the waters of Loch Ness have abounded over the decades, but little evidence has been found to support these claims.

One of the first observations, which would have fed the fever of modern Nessie, would have taken place May 2, 1933.

At that date, the Inverness courier told the story of a couple of locals who claimed to have seen "a huge animal that was rolling and diving to the surface".

Another famous claimed photograph is a photograph taken in 1934 by Colonel Robert Kenneth Wilson.

One of the participants, Chris Spurling, then revealed that it was a hoax, which on his deathbed revealed that the images had been staged.

Other observations The photo of James Gray dating back to 2001, when his friend Peter Levings and himself went fishing on the Loch, while the blurred photo of the same name, Hugh Gray, of what appeared to be a great sea creature was published in the Daily Express in 1933.

Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London doctor, has probably captured the most famous image of the Loch Ness monster. The surgeon's photograph was published in the Daily Mail on April 21, 1934.

Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London doctor, has probably captured the most famous image of the Loch Ness monster. The surgeon's photograph was published in the Daily Mail on April 21, 1934.

The first reported sighting of the monster would have been made in 565 AD by the Irish missionary St Columba when he stumbled upon a giant beast in the Ness River.

But no one has ever provided a satisfactory explanation for these observations. However, Steve Feltham, "Nessie's expert," who spent 24 years observing Loch earlier this year, said he thought it was actually acting from a giant catfish from Wels, native to the waters near the Baltic and Caspian seas in Europe.

An online registry lists more than 1,000 Nessie observations in total, created by Mr. Campbell, the man behind the official Loch Ness Monsters Fan Club, and is available at www.lochnesssightings.com.

So, what could explain these mysterious observations?

Many Nessie witnesses mentioned large scales resembling crocodiles at the top of the creature's spine, suggesting an escaped amphibian.

Native fish sturgeons can also weigh several hundred pounds and have a striated back, which gives them an almost reptilian appearance.

Some people think that Nessie is a long-necked, elasmosaur-like plesiosaur that survived when all the other dinosaurs were eliminated.

Others say that the sightings are due to the fact that Scottish pines die and rush into the lake, before quickly becoming gorged with water and sinking.

When they are submerged, botanical chemicals trap tiny bubbles of air.

Eventually, enough of these are gathered to propel the ball up as deep pressures begin to change the shape, giving the appearance of an animal taking the air to breathe.

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