Jurassic Sea Dragon Discovered in India

Skeleton of Ichthyosaur, like the sea dragon found in India

Recently, a team of researchers has unearthed the first ancient sea dragon, scientifically called ichthyosaur, which has been buried in India for about 150-milion years. It’s interesting that such sea dragons were living in the Mesozoic Era alongside dinosaurs. They were dangerous predators that were usually living in the sea. To find such fossils in Europe and North America is not a surprise, because scientists have discovered many. However, this is the first such complete skeleton ever found in India.

According to paleontologist Guntupalli Prasad, this is one of the most amazing discoveries. And not because it’s the first such fossil found on the Indian territory, but because it could shed light on the diversity and evolution of the sea dragons in the area. It could also stand as proof that India had many biological connections with the other continents during the Jurassic period.

The giant sea dragon

The team of researchers unearthed this monster from an area near the village of Lodai. According to them, it may be part of the Ophthalmosauridae family. Their name come from the fact that those creatures had some abnormally large eyes. From the looks and size of the skeleton, the dragon would have been about 5.5 meters in length. It’s almost complete, apart from some small parts from its tail and front.

Prasad also explained that by the looks and the wear patterns on its teeth, this creature was one of the most dangerous predators of its time. It was able to break bones and hard food with its strong teeth. It was eating fish, marine reptiles and even molluscs.

According to the calculations of the researchers, this specific specimen of sea dragon could be between 152 and 157 million-years old. It’s interesting that the paleontologists never imagined that it was possible to find such a perfectly-preserved skeleton in this area. When they started digging, they only expected fragments of bones.

Image source: wikimedia

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