Ranging from ancient oceans once found in Kansas (see related article http://joltleft.com/pets-in-hartford/remains-of-pregnant-dinosaur-pr…) to the southern most regions of the planet, the recent discovery of an 85-million-year-old plesiosaur has “pushed back the presence of these incredible sea monsters in Antarctica by 15 million years,” exclaimed. Alexander Kellner, of the National Museum of Brazil at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, who lead the team that found it among more than 5,000 pounds of fossils and rock samples taken during an expedition to Ross Island in 2006-2007.
“The fragments we found, including pieces of vertebrae, head, and flippers suggest the newfound plesiosaur was 20 to 23 feet long. Yet they don’t belong to any group registered on the continent before, which means that there was probably a much greater diversity of the plesiosaurs in Antarctica than previously suspected.”
Plesiosaurs roamed the seas worldwide between about 205 million to 65 million years ago, reaching the Southern Hemisphere by the mid-Jurassic period. The world, however, was very different than it is today, with Antarctica having a much warmer climate and covered by vast coniferous forests.
“The animals had a range of different sizes and features, but mostly shared small heads, long necks, and big bodies. If the Loch Ness monster ever existed, this would be its best representation,” stated Kellner.
Readers interested in learning more about the Jurassic period here in Connecticut are encouraged to visit our very own Dinosaur State Park & Arboretum, 400 West Street in Rocky Hill, CT 06067 (one mile east of exit 23 off Interstate 91). 860 529-8423.