Paleontologists have restored the image of one of the most fearsome marine predators of the Triassic period.
On the slopes of the Austrian Alps was discovered the fossilized remains of several creatures, known as fitosauna.
They lived approximately 210 million years ago, resembled modern crocodiles, according to
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Individuals died at the age of eight years, when they still continued active bone growth. Obviously, their parents differed even more impressive size.
A new species has received the official name mystriosuchus steinbergeri – in honor of caver Sepp Steinberger who discovered the bones while climbing on “dead mountain”, a remote area of the Austrian Alps.
It is noteworthy that the remains of marine life were at an altitude of almost two kilometers long, to transport them they had to use a helicopter.
The researchers noted that despite the external similarity with crocodiles, fitosauna are not their direct relatives. This is an example of evolutionary convergence – the phenomenon where two different species, living in similar conditions, develop similar traits.
Fitosauna also were not dinosaurs, although found early during their heyday. They led a semi-aquatic lifestyle. The remains of these creatures often found close to freshwater lakes and rivers, but in the above case, the bones were at the site of an ancient ocean, in dozens of kilometers from the Triassic coastline.
It is unlikely that predators killed on land, and then was picked up by the wave. Obviously, some of them managed to adapt to the marine environment.
Earlier it was reported that in China have unearthed the remains of a dinosaur – Batman.