Paleontologists in Poland recently discovered the jaws and teeth of a monstrous pliosaur, an ancient marine reptile with a bite stronger than that of Tyrannosaurus Rex .
Pliosaur, the largest of The Jurassic Sea-Life lived about 150 million years ago. The researchers found fossils of this giant carnivore in a cornfield in the Polish village of Krzyżanowice in the Heiligkreuzgebirge along with several hundred bones of crocodile relatives, ancient turtles and long-necked plesiosaurs – cousins of pliosaurs – after a new study.
Fossils of Jurassic pliosaurs have been found in only a few European countries. This is the first time that bones of the massive predators have appeared in Poland the earth in Warsaw, said in a statement .
Related: Image gallery: Ancient monsters of the sea
A limestone block found on In Poland were conical teeth and fragments of an upper and lower jaw, which the scientists before 145 bis Identified 163 million years as belonging to a pliosaur. The largest tooth measures about 68 millimeters from the crown to the tip. Another large, isolated tooth, which is also believed to belong to a pliosaur, was about 2 inches (57 mm) long, according to the study.
Pliosaurs lived alongside dinosaurs (though not T rex which occurred only about 70 to 65 million years ago in the Cretaceous . "They had a length of over 10 Meters [32 feet] and could reach a weight of several tens of tons, "Tyborowski said in the statement." They had powerful, large skulls and massive jaws with large, sharp teeth, their limbs shaped like fins. "Unlike plesiosaurs – who had long, elegant necks and small heads – pliosaurs had massive heads, supported by thick, powerful neck muscles that helped them crush the bones of large prey.
A Pliosaurian Plush, Pliosaurus funkei had a 2 m long skull and a bite estimated to be four times as strong as that of T. Rex . These predators are at the top of the food chain in their sea Ecosystems have fed on crocodiles, plesiosaurs, turtles and fish, the authors of the study reported. So far, six Pliosaurierarten have been described. However, it is not yet known to what kind the new fossils belong.
"We hope that the coming months and years will bring even richer material in the form of bones of great reptiles," Tyborowski said in the statement.
More than 100 million years ago The mountainous region was an archipelago of islands surrounded by warm lagoons, but the variety of Jurassic marine species on the mountain also indicated that this area was a "center" where the habitats of various groups of marine reptiles overlapped, the researchers reported.
Ancient turtles and crocodile relatives are known from Mediterranean regions; They lived in warm water in the Tethys Ocean, a vast ocean that lay between two ancient supercontinents between 251 and 65.5 million years ago – Gondawna in the south and Laurasia in the north. However, pliosaurs, plesiosaurs, and ichthyosaurs (another type of marine reptile with long, slender pines) are more common in cooler waters further north. Since the site in Krzyżanowice contains fossils from both warmer and colder environments, the researchers suggested that the study is a transition zone that was once a unique marine ecosystem.
The findings were published online October 6 in the journal Proceedings of the Geologists' Association .
Originally published on Live Science .