Sea Monsters

Sofia Henriquez, Staff

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After nearly 1,500 hours of excavation, a team of paleontologist found a near complete skeleton of an Ichthyosaur in India. Guntupalli V.R. Prasad, a researcher on the team, said to PLOS ONE, “Vertebrate fossils are rare to the Kachchh region, and we were expecting only bone fragments from this area. So to find a near-complete skeleton is surprising as well as exciting. The discovery of this prehistoric reptile suggests that they lived all over the world, and not just in the north as previously thought.” There was also a discovery made from the blood remains of the fossils. The red blood cell structures found within the remains are about 5 times smaller than those in modern organisms. We already know that the atmosphere back then held low amounts of oxygen, so a running theory now is that their circulation runs similar to that of animals living in higher altitudes, who also have smaller cells that provide diffusion of oxygen. Knowing that there are fossils in the area, the team of paleontologists plan to continue digging and have more extensive field work done in the near future.