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Bus-Size Sea Monster Found, Took On Prey Its Own Size

Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:10
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Thalattoarchon saurophagis had large, sharp teeth, recent excavations show.

An ichthyosaurus.

T. saurophagis, seen in an artist’s illustration, was at least 28 feet (8.6 meters) long.

Illustration by Raul Martin, National Geographic

Brian Handwerk

for National Geographic News

Published January 7, 2013

A new species of prehistoric sea monster unearthed in Nevada chowed down on prey its own size—the first ocean predator that evolved to do so, a new study says. (Explore a sea monster interactive in National Geographic magazine.)

Thalattoarchon saurophagis—which translates to “lizard-eating sovereign of the sea”—was at least 28 feet (8.6 meters) long and lived about 244 million years ago during the Triassic period, said study co-author Nadia Fröbisch of Berlin’s Museum of Natural History.

The bus-size beast was an early ichthyosaur, part of a group of reptiles that prowled the world’s seas during the dinosaur era.

The Thalattoarchon fossil, partially excavated in 1998, was unusually well preserved, including the skull, fins, and entire vertebral column. “It is pretty amazing, particularly for an animal this size,” said Fröbisch, who is also a National Geographic explorer. (National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.)

But more compelling to Fröbisch were reports of the animal’s fearsome teeth, briefly spotted on the last day of the 1998 expedition.

So, in 2010, Fröbisch and colleagues returned to the Nevada site to dig up the rest of the fossil. In the process, the scientists discovered an enormous skull and jaw-laden with large, sharp teeth that are big enough to carve up other large marine reptiles, she said. (Related: “Sea Monster Battle Seen in Prehistoric Bite Marks.”)

Thalattoarchon‘s modern counterparts would be orcas and great white sharks, both of which will take on similar-size prey. (Related blog post: “Sharp-Toothed Thalattoarchon Was the First Ruler of the Triassic Seas.”)

more here

This thing must of been like a real eating machine,his eyes weren’t bigger than his stomach,lol.

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Total 20 comments
  • BeastLee

    “had large, sharp teeth”


  • Mr A Hole - PHD, BSE, HN51, ADHD hons. DVT HIV

    Tut tut everyone knows dinosaur bones were planted by the devil to deceive non believers, oops sorry that comment was meant for my Sunday sermon.

    Fantastic, a new dinosaur, dinosaurs rock, but sometimes they can be found in sand too.

  • CosmicKiwiPerth

    The Japanese netted up a Plesiosaur off the east coast of New Zealand in 1977. Yes side flippers, long neck & tail. They took pics & pushed it off the deck fearing it would contaminate their catch. The New Zealand Government said the specimen would have been worth more than the entire fish catch in the holds.

    • Old Harry

      I live in New Zealand. Could have been my x-wife – haven’t seen her for years but the description is familiar?

      • King of Shambhala

        You NZ have problems with females?

        In our parts females are much more kind than in NZ.

        We have females that give in to any sexual fantasy we propose, they just keel over and offer up their arses to us as an offering to GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mr A Hole - PHD, BSE, HN51, ADHD hons. DVT HIV

        Yours too? Did she have a twin?

      • Mayhem

        @Old Harry

        Are you anywhere near the eastern bay of plenty mate? It could be a bit of humour to run into each other. We could share ex wife stories but unlike yours mine is a good friend and i remain very fond of the woman. By the way did you see this the other day?

        Bleeding Aussies!

        @geir smith

        Freudian slip there pal: you are the homosexual; how do you sleep at night knowing that you truly are an abomination and that you shall not be saved?

    • Mayhem

      @Cosmos the perth based Kiwi…

      if you want a laugh check out that link i just posted to Old Harry then go punch an Aussie for me. It is your duty and i demand you fulfill your duty. :lol:

  • Coalpony

    there is a mental missing link between our belief and understanding the power of God , creation and the ability of the created to geneticaly modify itself to fit into the incubus of humanity.ha ha life on this planet ,Gods garden will come to fruitionand and the way we treat it’ and each other will determin your own evolution.

    Mine got eaten by something larrger.

  • CosmicKiwiPerth

    Ha. Nice one Old Harry.

  • CosmicKiwiPerth

    Google this; Plesiosaur netted off the coast of new zealand & have a look, several sites on it.

    • Mayhem

      Did that thanks Cosmic Kiwi but as it turns out what was initially thought to be a Plesiosaur was in fact a Zuiyo-maru and not quite the same thing but mildly interesting nonetheless. Apparently there is substantial fossilised evidence that these creatures did exist but i am not yet convinced. Also the beast portrayed in this thread is different and again i am unconvinced that Thalattoarchon saurophagis is anything other than theory.

      I am sure that there are many splendid creatures of the deep of the likes that we can hardly imagine. I could well be wrong but am singularly uninterested and i really only dropped in to this thread to ask Old Harry if he lived near me. Regardless here are a bunch of big words that might help those interested in this subject to further their own knowledge.

  • CosmicKiwiPerth

    Lol Middle Ages Mayhem re punching out Aussies & that it is my duty..

    • Mayhem

      Um, you don’t have to punch them out exactly a good shot to the shoulder will suffice.

  • CosmicKiwiPerth

    Ahh ok, same as what the Aussies did yo Jonah Lomu a few years ago in the rugby..

    • Mayhem

      Crikey mate! don’t mention the rugby or the fact that the Aussies best first five and coach are kiwi’s. You won’t gain any friends by going down that route. Anyway it’s more fun to get them to pronounce the word six.

      New Zealand; Rugby World champions 2011. :cool:

      • FalkeAuge

        New Zealand; Rugby World champions 2011.

        Ehe, by hook or by crook – Bryce Lawrence factor. :razz:

      • Mayhem

        Oh do go on FalkeAuge, Did the Kiwi’s whinge when we lost the 95′ World Cup due to food poisoning. Did we whinge again this year when a mystery virus prevented us from having the perfect season? Take your losses like men and perhaps one day in the distant future you may well rise again.


    That reptile got a dolphin-like smile. Fire ants got that chump beat by far as to killing creatures much larger than them.

  • Anonymous

    Too many Sheep in the South Island………………..

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