facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Fossil shows plesiosaurs bore live young

Aug. 11, 2011 at 6:43 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say fossil evidence confirms long-necked plesiosaurs that roamed the seas during the dinosaur era gave birth to live young.

Scientists say a unique fossil specimen on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County shows the fossil of an embryonic plesiosaur contained within the fossil of its marine reptile mother.

"Scientists have long known that the bodies of plesiosaurs were not well suited to climbing onto land and laying eggs in a nest," Robin O'Keefe of Marshall University in West Virginia said.

"So the lack of evidence of live birth in plesiosaurs has been puzzling. This fossil documents live birth in plesiosaurs for the first time, and so finally resolves this mystery," he said Thursday in a NHM release.

The embryo is large in relation to the mother, he said.

"Many of the animals alive today that give birth to large, single young are social and have maternal care," O'Keefe said. "We speculate that plesiosaurs may have exhibited similar behaviors, making their social lives more similar to those of modern dolphins than other reptiles."

Plesiosaurs have no known living relatives but were common in the world's oceans during the age of dinosaurs.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Physicists teleport photon over 15 miles Physicists teleport photon over 15 miles
2
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
3
New research suggests China's CO2 output is almost twice U.S.'s New research suggests China's CO2 output is almost twice U.S.'s
4
Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV
5
WATCH: SpaceX is not only taking a 3D printer to space, but mice too WATCH: SpaceX is not only taking a 3D printer to space, but mice too
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback