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Pliosaur

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Majir
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« on: January 19, 2011, 01:22:51 pm »

The discovery of a very large pliosaur was announced in 2002, from Mexico. This pliosaur came to be known as the "Monster of Aramberri". The size of this specimen has been estimated to be about 15 metres (49 ft) long and it had a 3-metre (10 ft) long skull. Consequently, although widely reported as such, it does not belong to the genus Liopleurodon.[5] The remains of this animal, consisting of a partial vertebral column, were dated to the Kimmeridgian of the La Caja Formation.[6] The fossils were found much earlier, in 1985, by a geology student and were at first erroneously attributed to a theropod dinosaur by Hahnel.[7] The remains originally contained part of a rostrum with teeth (now lost).

In August 2006, palaeontologists of the University of Oslo discovered the first remains of a pliosaur on Norwegian soil. The remains were described as "very well preserved as well as being unique in their completeness" and are the first complete skeleton of a pliosaur ever discovered. Whether it belongs to the genus Pliosaurus or Liopleurodon awaits publication of the fossil description. In the summer of 2008, the fossil remains of the huge pliosaur were dug up from the permafrost on Svalbard, a Norwegian island close to the North Pole.[8] The excavation of the find is documented in the 2009 History television special Predator X.

On 26 October 2009 palaeontologists reported the discovery of potentially the largest pliosaur yet found. The fossil had a skull length of 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) and a body length of 16 metres (52 ft). Palaeontologist Richard Forrest told the BBC: "I had heard rumours that something big was turning up. But seeing this thing in the flesh, so to speak, is just jaw dropping. It is simply enormous." [9]

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