Ancient Marine Reptiles Discovered

Date: 1/10/2006

Scientists recently identified two ancient reptiles in ice-cold waters off Australia from 115 million years ago and are among the first of their kind found from the period soon after the Jurassic era. The discoveries – Umoonasaurus and Opallionectes – belonged to a group of animals called plesiosaurs, long-necked marine reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Researchers, led by paleontologist Benjamin Kear and a team from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian museum, identified the new species after piecing together fossils from 30 individuals collected from an opal mine over the past 30 years.

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