August 23, 2021 #ChileDiverse

Remains of a giant marine reptile found in Chile

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Sometimes a single vertebra is enough to reconstruct an important part of the planet's history. Chilean paleontologist Rodrigo Otero, who in 2014 found a fossil remains that, after six years of studies with a team of experts, was identified as belonging to a mosasaurine specimen, which joins the halisaurines and tylosaurines in the list of mosasaurs that have been found in Chile. The paper detailing the discovery appears in the September 2021 issue of the journal Cretaceous Resarch.

The central caudal vertebra of the marine reptile came to light during a campaign in Quiriquina Island, in the Biobío Region, and it is estimated that the specimen inhabited Chile 66 million years ago. This is an important discovery, because there were no records of this type of mosasaur in the Southeastern Pacific, and it allows expanding the local diversity of mosasaurs. It also confirms the wide distribution of these animals throughout the planet.

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