facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

German fossil find changes timeline

Jan. 5, 2012 at 6:50 PM   |   Comments

BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- German paleontologists say they identified a species of prehistoric marine giant from a time when that family of reptiles was thought mostly to have died out.

Researchers from the State Natural History Museum in Braunschweig said the rare fossil ichthyosaur find from northern Germany is 130 million years old, dating from the Lower Cretaceous era. Most ichthyosaur fossils previously found date from the Jurassic era, millions of years earlier.

The newly discovered ichthyosaur species, unearthed during road work in 2005, has been called Acamptonectes densus, "Stiff Swimmer."

The neck vertebrae were so tightly arranged the species "couldn't move its neck, so it must have shot through the water like a dart," museum paleontologist Ulrich Joger told the BBC.

"It's a spectacular find," he said. "It raises new questions about the [Jurassic] extinction theory."

The marine predator fed on fish and would have looked something like a dolphin, experts said, though the species are not related.

© 2012 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.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
SpaceX rocket explodes in test flight over Texas
2
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
3
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
4
Neanderthals and humans interacted for thousands of years
5
Fish can smell a bad coral reef
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback