The oceans of recent-day Earth are scary sufficient already, with all types of creatures that would make your blood run chilly should you by accident occurred upon one, however again within the Jurassic interval issues have been no safer. For those who have been taking a dip within the Jurassic ocean, an ichthyosaur would have been one of many extra intimidating animals you would stumble upon, and the fossilized stays of 1 was simply found in India for the very first time.
The specimen measures some 18 ft lengthy, although they might attain as giant as 30 ft, and this specific instance is remarkably nicely preserved. However the a part of the brand new fossils that’s most enjoyable to the researchers is its jaw, and the teachings its tooth can train us about what the huge beast ate each day.
The almost 20-foot-lengthy aquatic reptile was an enormous fan of consuming crunchy ocean creatures, and its stays have been found in proximity to what scientists consider was its typical every day fare. Mollusks and different shelled sea animals have been all truthful recreation for dinner, and the ichthyosaur’s highly effective jaws and strong tooth made brief work of them.
“We might infer from put on patterns on its tooth that this ichthyosaur was a prime-tier predator that ate up arduous and abrasive meals materials, together with marine molluscs (ammonoids and belemnites), fish and probably different marine reptiles,” lead researcher Guntupalli Prasad explains in an interview revealed in PLOS One.
The researchers are hopeful that continued exploration within the area will assist them uncover much more fossils, and probably spark additional curiosity for paleontologists in India.