Les ichtyosaures, immenses reptiles marins, sillonnaient les océans il y a environ 200 millions d'années. © Daniel Eskridge

This large tooth is one of the largest marine reptiles ever to live on Earth

Of the largest living animals, ichthyosaurs are not far from the record. The population of the Earth about 200 million years ago, their length often exceeded 20 meters. Today, the largest tooth of one of these marine reptiles has been discovered by ancient researchers in the Swiss Alps.

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They are one of the largest living creatures in history, measuring more than 20 meters in length. Blue whales. Ichthyosaurs, integrated Marine reptileAppeared to followPermian destruction More than 95% of it was destroyed Species The ocean about 250 million years ago. The species was diversified over millions of years as it lasted until the Cretaceous.

Three of them have just been revealed Ancient researchers, Which will be one of the largest specimens of the breed. Discovered in the Coshen system in the Swiss Alps between 1976 and 1990 Fossils Published in the magazine Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Of them, the tooth is twice the width of any known aquatic reptile! It is about six centimeters in diameter and 15 meters long.

The found tooth is about six centimeters in diameter.  A good part of the crown is missing, which is mainly the preserved root.  © b.  Martin Sander, Pablo Romero, Perez de Villar, Heinz Fூரhrer & Tanja Windrich

Ancestors of modern whales

Has approximately the same shape Whales Current, these Marine reptile There were elongated bodies and erect foot paddles. When the little ones Ichthyosers There were teeth in general, and none of the largest specimens discovered until this invention. One characteristic that researchers justify by their feeding method is that they feed by sucking, which uses systems similar to current whales. Filtering. “The big eaters of the giants should eat the cephalopods. Those with teeth may have eaten smaller ichthyosaurs and larger fish. “The first author of the study was B.S. Martin Sander suggested.

The ichthyosaurs weigh about 80 tons and are populated BandalassaThe oldest giant ocean formed 4 billion years ago Earth. The Swiss Alps were then only a vast body of water, with many years of conflict Tectonic plates Europe and Africa died and became the chain of the Alps. This is why these sea fossils were found at an altitude of 2,800 meters, in the center of the mountains!

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