(ORDO NEWS) — The remains of a huge ichthyosaur have been found in the Swiss Alps. In addition, scientists described an incomplete tooth, estimated to be 15–16 centimeters high, which is the largest known ichthyosaur tooth to date.
Ichthyosaurs were large marine reptiles. They appeared after the Permian extinction, which occurred about 250 million years ago and destroyed more than two-thirds of terrestrial and 96% of marine species.
According to the team, the results of the study helped solve the mystery of whether giant ichthyosaurs, like some smaller species of these creatures, had teeth.
In addition, in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, a group of authors describe how they first discovered fossils of three giant ichthyosaurs at various locations in the Kössen Formation between 1976 and 1990.
The team says the tooth, which is missing most of its crown, is the creature’s second and largest tooth ever found, surpassing that of a species known as the Himalayan saurus, which was discovered in China and is thought to have been about 15 meters.
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