(ORDO NEWS) — A 139-million-year-old, pregnant reptile fossil with multiple embryos has been found in a melting glacier in Chile. This is reported by the Daily Mirror.
The four-meter reptile, which turned out to be an ichthyosaur, was first discovered in 2009 by paleontologist from the Antarctic Research Center Dr. Judith Pardo-Perez. However, getting to the place where the specimen was found was not easy, as it required a ten-hour journey on foot.
In March 2022, the University of Magallanes organized a 31-day expedition led by Dr. Pardo-Pérez, the first female paleontologist to lead a major expedition in Patagonia.
The intact remains were carefully collected by helicopter. Getting to the fossil was difficult due to a number of problems: difficulty setting up camp, moving through rocky terrain, the likelihood of encounters with wildlife, and extreme weather conditions.
According to the University of Manchester, the found ichthyosaur is the only pregnant female of the Valanginian-Gautherian age (from 129 to 139 million years from the early Cretaceous period) found on the planet. During the expedition, 23 more new ichthyosaurs were discovered.
The ichthyosaurs were taken to the paleontological laboratory of the Rio Seco Museum of Natural History in Punta Arenas, where they will be temporarily stored for later display.
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