Paleontologists solved the mystery of the ancient of long-necked tanystropheus

Scientists from the Chicago field Museum of natural history did a CT fossil remains of one of the mysterious beings of ancient times – tennistrophy. So far (and since its opening it has been almost 200 years old) paleontologists could not even understand, was this beast on land, water or flying. The reason for this was the mysterious extra long neck with a tiny head that distinguished representatives of this extinct species

History is replete with creatures with a very long neck – like the modern giraffe, an ostrich, several species of turtles or the extinct plesiosaur and Brontosaurus. But all of them the neck is attached to a powerful and heavy body. At the same tanystropheus body length of 5-6 m, neck length ranged from 3 m or more, and there were quite a large bone. As a result, was a heavy, clumsy neck with a small body and weak legs.

The version of the ability to fly rejected, when I realized that a long bone is the part of the neck, not the wreckage of the wings. Computed tomography was used to reconstruct the skull and found that the nostrils being located at the top of the head, like a crocodile. Therefore, with high probability tanystropheus led similar lifestyles – was sitting on the bottom and put the nose out to grab and drown a passing prey.

Further research showed that smaller skeletons with long necks do not belong to the cubs, and the individual mind. Scientists have divided them into Tanystropheus longobardicus, and larger Tanystropheus hydroides, and has determined that both are evolutionary product of the era, the shallow coast of the Tethys 240 million years ago. Small long-necked plant-eating shrimp and insects, large fish and squid, which allowed them to exist side by side without competition for food.

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