The Real Sea Monsters

By: Anjali

Introduction

No dinosaurs ever lived in the ocean. But there were a lot of big aquatic reptiles that were just as ferocious and totally awesome!
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How Did They Form and Why Aren't They Dinosaurs?

A dinosaur had distinctive holes in there hip where the thighbones go. Marine reptiles of the same time period of dinosaurs lack those holes, so they were not dinosaurs even though they were from the same era. Around 252 million years ago, there was a mass extinction. During that time, huge volcanoes erupted into what is now Siberia. Large numbers of plants, animals, and other species died out. After the ecosystems recovered, the few species that survived evolved to better fit into a new environmental condition. With so many ocean animals gone, some land creatures tried the aquatic life, and succeeded.

The Ichthysaurus

People have still been looking at fossils and finding out information on how the animals looked like and how they lived. Their name means "fish lizard" in Greek. They were very successful. Species of this group have lived from 248 million years ago to 95 million years ago. Their fossils have been found worldwide.
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How Do They Look Like?

Some of these aquatic reptiles are no more than 80 cm (31 inches long) while others range to a whopping 22 meters long (72 feet)! They were known for their long necks. Some were shaped like dolphins and could swim fast, while others were as large and long as a school bus! They also looked like giant lizards. Plesiosaurs were known for their exceptionally long necks. The widely spaced bones show that their forelimbs were flippers filled with cartilage, not legs that can bear lots of weight.

Photographs

above is a small photo gallery of other pictures of things I talked about in the paragraphs above :) *I didn't take or own any of these pictures! Credit goes to the owners.


Pictures From: https://student.societyforscience.org/topic/life


Hope You Enjoyed :)