130-million-year-old pregnant sea dragon fossil found in Chile

130-million-year-old pregnant sea dragon fossil found in Chile

The fossilized remains of a 4-meter-long ichthyosaur have been unearthed in Chile. The fossil, named Fiona, came to light after a glacier melted deep in Patagonia. Fiona, who died about 130 million years ago, was pregnant and still had several embryos in her belly. However, ichthyosaurs, also known as sea dragons, reproduced by giving birth, unlike the egg-laying dinosaurs they lived with at the same time.

The fossilized skeleton of a female ichthyosaur named “Fiona” by archaeologists was found under a glacier in Patagonia, Chile. Fiona made history as the first extinct marine reptile whose remains were found intact.
The University of Magallanes announced that the pregnant animal’s fossil of the ancient sea creature was found as a result of a pioneering expedition led by Chilean paleontologist Judith Pardo. Fiona’s skeleton was excavated from the rocks where she was buried with the help of an international team.
Discovered on the Tyndall Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile, Fiona is four meters tall. It also became the only pregnant ichthyosaur fossil ever found from the Early Cretaceous Period (130 million years ago), the third and final period of the Mesozoic Era.
Pardo said, “Fiona is a complete fossil with multiple embryos and joints. Studies on it will contribute to knowledge of paleobiology, embryonic development and the diseases that affect her throughout her life.”
Pardo added that Fiona’s fossilized remains were taken to the paleontology laboratory at the Rio Seco Museum of Natural History in Punta Arenas, in the southernmost part of Chile, and will then be displayed.
On the other hand, ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that lived in oceans all over the planet during the Mesozoic Era, also known as the Age of Reptiles, which lasted between 250 million and 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were destroyed by a meteorite impact.
Fiona’s body looks like modern day tuna. This similarity is due to the fact that it has a long pointed head like a dolphin, four flipper fins, and a vertical tail.
At the same time, the species had air-breathing lungs and was giving birth. Ichthyosaurs are considered to be marine animals most adapted to their particular environment during their time on Earth.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button