Rare, exceptionally preserved fossil reveals lifestyle of ancient armor-plated reptile

Journal reference: Scientific Reports

Provided by: University of Oxford

June 30, 2017

Scientists unveiled fossils Thursday from a new species of giant, long-necked dinosaur unearthed in northeast Australia, speculating that its ancestors had trekked across Antarctica some 105 million years ago.

A fossil of Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi PIMUZ A/III 4380. Credit: Dr. Torsten Scheyer; Palaeontological Institute and Museum, University of Zurich, Switzerland

An exceptionally-preserved fossil from the Alps in eastern Switzerland has revealed the best look so far at an armoured reptile from the Middle Triassic named Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi. The fossil is extremely rare in that it contains the animal's complete skeleton, giving an Anglo-Swiss research team a very clear idea of its detailed anatomy and probable lifestyle for the first time, according to a paper published in Scientific Reports today.

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