Ichthyosaur crushed mollusk shells round teeth

Some people dream about space vistas, and talks about the future, someone not haunted by the past. Through studies of fossils of early ichthyosaur, or smart Cartorhynchus lenticarpus, scientists from the Field Museum of Chicago found in the jaw of the lizard round the teeth. Their strength allowed the ichthyosaur to crush the shells of snails and bivalves. His research group posted in the journal Scientific Reports. Ichthyosaurs interesting science fact that their origin is still shrouded in mist, so the new discovery will shed light on the many mysteries and bring us closer to their origin.

Ichthyosaurs (lat. Ichthyosauria, from GK. ἰχθύς — fish and σαῦρος — lizard, literally rubadiri) — a group of extinct large marine reptiles that had a shape similar to fish and dolphins. The name he was given because of the strong similarities with fish. The first complete skeleton was discovered in Britain in the early nineteenth century Mary Anning

Ichthyosaur is interesting that contrary to popular evolutionary transition from water to land they did the opposite: the ancestors of the ichthyosaurs moved to an aquatic lifestyle in the beginning of tressa.

The Triassic period (Triassic) — the first geological period of the Mesozoic era. Follows the Permian and precedes the Jurassic period. Lasted about 51 million years

In fact, the events of the world described in “Jurassic Park” is already talking about the next generation of dinosaurs. Ichthyosaurs appeared much earlier, so the search for their remains, unlike the animals of the Jurassic period, find especially difficult. The main reason for the origin of ichthyosaurs remains a mystery likely lies in the place of their descent to the sea: as the ancestors of the ichthyosaurs descended the bed of a prehistoric river, their remains to our times not reached. It so happened that much of the old remains irrevocably disappeared, and all currently known species of ichthyosaurs are marine animals with a characteristically mutated limbs. But normal heroes always go to bypass, so scientists started looking.

Vague origin impedes accurate classification of “Ribadeo”. On the one hand they are reptiles, but on the other very similar to the archosaurs, that is, with the ancestors of crocodiles. But this statement cannot be called accurate. According to one of the paleontologists Olivier Rippel:

We don’t know about the origin of ichthyosaurs. They are reptiles and, probably, the archosaurs, meaning that they are more closely related to crocodiles, dinosaurs and birds than with lizards and snakes. But even that is not 100%.

It turns out that the unknown ancestor of ichthyosaurs may have been a new unique look. In the hope of finding a new species, scientists decided to explore Cartorhynchus lenticarpus. Unlike their larger counterparts, reaching 2-4 meters, it was slightly less than 30 cm.

So what give found round the teeth in the jaws small dinosaur? In the beginning, scientists believed that such a small individual teeth, as such, no food and she was just sucking it in. But after computed tomography revealed that the teeth are not missing, just hidden deep, like human molars.

Molars is the sixth, seventh and eighth teeth of the permanent number or of the fourth and fifth teeth of the milk row with the left and right sides of the jaw. They are located behind the premolars

The teeth were round galloping a form that allowed individuals to break up the hard shell of small invertebrates. The sample was significantly worn, so you could say that the fossilized skeleton belonged to an adult individual.

Comparing the new information with earlier studies, it became clear, rounded teeth Cartorhynchus lenticarpus not an isolated phenomenon, several other species had the same “molars”.

Leaves, rounded teeth are not common to all ichthyosaurs, and just talking about the adaptation of several species to the changed environment. A commonseen on early ichthyosaurs were cone-shaped teeth. It is these differences that lead lead to unraveling the origin of “Ribadeo”, but still it failed.

Before the Trias was not a marine reptile – said Rippel.

The changeable environment makes these early dinosaurs such fascinating: their story tells us about recovery after mass extinction because they went to sea just after it. In addition, finding the ancestors of ichthyosaurs may be able to identify or link between certain types of dinosaurs. This is very similar to Assembly puzzles, where a bunch of small pieces add up to a clear picture.