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Pregnant Plesiosaur found!

Scientists have pieced together the fossil of a pregnant plesiosaur!

The Plesiosaur is a giant Mesozoic reptile which lives in the sea, and comes from the Cretaceous Era. Scientists have discovered one with an embryo still inside at the time of it's death.
In 2011, scientists made this unusual discovery, it's unusual, because, up until it was found it was thought that these creatures swam up onto shore to lay eggs! The fossil was found in Kansas in 1987 by a family of fossil collectors, but it wasn't until last year that the technology existed to properly remove the fossilised bones from the rock they were embedded in.

The embryo was distinguishable for many reasons, the bones haven't ossified yet and it's the same species (so, not something the plesiosaur ate). It also clearly shows signs of embryonic development.

Plesiousaurs are a genus of large marine sauropterygian reptiles which lived during the early Jurassic period through until the end of the Cretaceous period (or, about 78 million years ago). They were about 15ft long (3 metres), or roughly the length of a minibus, not including the neck. The bones show that the baby would have been about 6ft long when born.



CBC News.

PBS News.