Scientists find fossil tooth that may have belonged to largest ever carnivorous sea monster

Width of the tooth root is twice as large as any aquatic reptile known, say scientists

Vishwam Sankaran
Friday 29 April 2022 18:36
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<p>The root of the tooth found has a diameter of 60mm (~2.4 inches), making it the thickest ichthyosaur tooth found so far</p>

The root of the tooth found has a diameter of 60mm (~2.4 inches), making it the thickest ichthyosaur tooth found so far

Scientists have discovered sets of fossils, including tooth and vertebra remains, of three new extinct marine reptile species that may have been among the largest carnivorous animals to have ever lived.

The discovery of the fossils, unearthed in the Swiss Alps between 1976 and 1990 and documented in the journal Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, includes the largest ichthyosaur tooth ever found.

Ichthyosaurs, whose name translates to “fish lizards” are large extinct marine reptiles that lived during much of the Mesozoic era, first appearing in fossil records about 250 million years ago (Ma) – following the late Permian mass extinction event in which 95 per cent of marine species died out.

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