July 27, 2015: The 70-million years old fossil of a rare species of marine reptile has been found in Alaska in the Talkeetna Mountains, as confirmed by the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
The newly found fossil was identified as Elasmosaur and is a part of the species of plesiosaur. A fossil collector, Curvin Metzler, first discovered the fossil.
Researchers further revealed that the plesiosaurs were a part of a group of marine reptiles that lived in ancient oceans and seas some 200 million years ago, in the Mesozoic period.
The researchers are extremely happy with the discovery as this is the first plesiosaur discovered in Alaska, that gives rise to hopes of more fossils.
Druckenmiller added, “I was excited the first time Curvin showed me one of its bones. I recognized it as a vertebra from the base of the animal’s neck and wanted to visit the site to see if we could find more,” said a report on The Market Business.
According to information available, there were two morphological types, known as Plesiosauromorph and Pliosauromorph. The newfound fossil belongs to the latter group and known as Elasmosaurus.
The species found is characterized by a very long neck that measures more than 14 meters. The reptile also weight more than 2,000 kilograms, making it among the heaviest and largest known plesiosaurs.
One of the researchers of the museum, Patrick Druckenmiller, said that the reptile had resemblance to the mythical monster named Loch Ness and lived in the later years of Cretaceous period, some odd 70 million years ago.
The species of plesiosaurs morph was a lethargic animal and used to feed on small sea creatures.