Ancient Sea Monster Found: New Species Is a Cross Between Crocodile & Whale

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87 million years ago was a dangerous time for those looking for a simple dip in the lake. According to National Geographic, fossils of an ancient, freshwater sea monster have been found in Hungary.



This newly discovered creature, named Pannoniasaurus, belongs to a family of aquatic reptiles known as mosasaurs. The animals swam the Earth 87 million years ago, and looked like a cross between crocodiles and whales. This Pannoniasaurus is believed to be the first of the mosasaurs to spend its entire life in fresh water.

The fossils were found among numerous others at the waste dump of a coal mine. Among the Pannoniasaurus specimens found, there were also several fossils of younger animals. Fossils of juveniles are a rare discovery. This leads researchers to believe that the formerly freshwater area was the habitat for generations of the Pannoniasaurus.

While the Pannoniasaurus looks intimidating, the creature was not likely a vicious apex predator. Instead, the animal probably contented itself on a steady diet of smaller fish. These sea monsters did have one thing that set them apart from many other mosasuars: leg-like limbs. These limbs signal that the Pannoniasaurus most likely behaved similar to a crocodile, occasionally clamoring on land to regulate body temperature.

Scientists think the Pannoniasaurus is the first of several freshwater sea monsters that will emerge over time as investigations and research continues.


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richardncadence

its a fish called sturgeon this was news about 6 months ago

December 20 2012 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
paganflute

Dang it! I should have proofread what I sent!

December 20 2012 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
paganflute

jmamusicman...look at the headline. It both calls it a new species, which it obviously is not because it's a fossil and it says that it's a cross between a croc and a whale. Later, in the article, it says " looked like a cross". The article also says that it "clamored" on land...um...doesn't that mean made noise on land? Suppose they meany clambered? Maybe Pawnation could use a good proofreader or at least somebody that has a better grasp of the language.

December 20 2012 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to paganflute's comment
Richy Vaughan

Nice work, you took the writer to the woodshed.

December 20 2012 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jmamusicman

To Hellyon 3.... Not to be splitting hairs on this...But...The article didn't say that this creature WAS a cross between a whale/mammal and a crocodile/reptile...It only said that it LOOKED like a cross between the two...It is a Mosasaur,...an aquatic reptile.

December 20 2012 at 4:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hellyon3too

A cross between a reptile and a mammal? I don't think so.

December 20 2012 at 3:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ElfOdin

Ladies and Gentleman, I present the next SyFy Original Movie!

December 20 2012 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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