Revisiting prehistoric era: Fossils of 3 ichthyosaurs including giant tooth found in Swiss Alps, says study

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
London Updated: Apr 28, 2022, 07:15 PM(IST)

Fossils of three ichthyosaurs including giant tooth have been found in Swiss Alps. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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Ichthyosaurs seems to be among the largest animals to have ever lived on Earth. The leviathans, who belong to prehistoric era, used to weigh around 80 metric tonnes and grew to around 20 meters (yards). They also had elongated bodies and small heads. The gigantic ichthyosaurs died out 200 million years ago  

In yet another discovery which may take you to the prehistoric era, the fossils of three ichthyosaurs have been found in Swiss Alps, a study said on Thursday.  

The ichthyosaurs are giant marine reptiles, which patrolled primordial oceans. The fossils of these reptiles were discovered high up in the Alps. It also includes largest-ever tooth found for the species.  

Ichthyosaurs seems to be among the largest animals to have ever lived on Earth. The leviathans, who belong to prehistoric era, used to weigh around 80 metric tonnes and grew to around 20 meters (yards).  

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They also had elongated bodies and small heads. The gigantic ichthyosaurs died out 200 million years ago.  

Martin Sander, University of Bonn, who was lead author of the study, said that unlike dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs have barely left a trace of fossil remains, and "why that is remains a great mystery to this day."   

The study has been published in the journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.  

The specimens for the study, which are over 205 million years old, were unearthed from 1976 to 1990.  

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Although the fossils were discovered during geological surveys, they were analysed in detail only recently.  

"From our point of view, the tooth is particularly exciting. Because this is huge by ichthyosaur standards: Its root was 60 millimeters (2.4 inches) in diameter - the largest specimen still in a complete skull to date was 20 millimeters and came from an ichthyosaur that was nearly 18 meters long," Sander explained.   

It may indicate the presence of a gigantic ichthyosaur, but it is highly likely to be of an ichthyosaur with gigantic teeth, as per scientists.   

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(With inputs from agencies) 

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