Gondwana period sea reptile fossil found in Antarctica

150-million-years-old reptile fossil found in Antarctica

marine reptile
Representational Image Pixabay

Researchers in Argentina have discovered a giant marine reptile which is believed to have lived in the Antarctican sea 150 million years ago. According to researchers, the era in which these creatures lived dates from the late Jurassic period, and as per records, it is the most ancient creature ever discovered in Antarctica. The new finding was made in the Antarctic Peninsula, a new paleontology hub in the Seymour Island.

A reptile from the Jurassic era

The new giant marine reptile measured up to 12 meters long, but the surprising discovery has never been documented, says a statement issued by the National University of La Matanza.

The researchers revealed that these giant reptiles swam the seas when Antarctica was a part of the Gondwana continent and was next to Australia, New Zealand, India, Madagascar, Africa and South America, before continental drift happened.

Dr. Cavalli, a paleontologist at Argentina's National Scientific and Technical Research Council, said that the Antarctic Peninsula in the Seymour Island is a place where we can find a large diversity of marine beings, flora, and fauna. But they were really surprised to find such an ancient Jurassic reptilian giant.

Reason behind the conservation of flora and fauna

According to the researchers, the remnants from the Jurassic era are well preserved, as the bottom of the sea had very little Oxygen, and there were no microbial organisms capable of dismantling the flora and fauna.

Seymour Island has been the site of the Eocene period of climatic cooling, with many fossilized species , including extinct penguin species. In 1982, a fossil marsupial of the extinct family Polydolopidae showed that land mammals too lived in the region when it was part of the ancient Gondwanaland.