sciencehabit writes: Researchers have announced the discovery of the first sea monster—an 8.6-meter-long reptile with a massive skull and sharp teeth that lived 244 million years ago. The creature was an early ichthyosaur, a four-footed reptile turned seafarer. Unlike other ichthyosaurs, however, whose diets consisted mostly of fish and clams, this one would have fed on larger prey, including other ichthyosaurs. Found in 244 million-year-old Triassic rocks, Thalattoarchon saurophagis lived just 4 million years after the first appearance of marine reptiles in the fossil record and lived just 8 million years after the great Permian-Triassic extinction, which wiped out 90% of ocean life.
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