- Researchers collected the bones and life of an ancient species of lizard that had an incredibly long neck.
- Tanistropheid hydroids he had a neck that took up almost half the length of his body and could give the animal many advantages.
- The lizard probably lived in the water and hunted animals along the shore or caught fish with its long jaws.
Dinosaurs can be quite strange. Finding fossils from a creature that lived millions of years ago often leads paleontologists to try to understand how the animal lives, how it hunts, and what it eats. In the case of the creatures belonging to the Tanistrophei family, the fossils are so bizarre that they are almost inexplicable, but a new study has managed to gather some aspects of the life of strange creatures.
The animals were reptiles with incredibly long necks and tails. The animal̵
Like ScienceAlert reports, researchers who studied the fossils of the creatures, had a hard time wrapping their heads around what they saw. Some of the creatures were massive, while others were much smaller, but had approximately the same neck-to-body ratio, suggesting that they may have been minors of the same species.
After further examination of the bones, the researchers were able to find that the smaller specimens were a completely different but closely related species. But that was just one of many questions the researchers answered.
Another pressing issue was determining where the reptiles lived. With such long necks, the animals could be at home in the water or take advantage of their incredible range on land. To answer this question, the scientists had to collect the broken bones of the skull of one of the specimens. They did this with the help of 3D scanning and modeling, which allowed them to restore the skull and learn more about the animal’s adaptations.
Once this was done, something became quite obvious: the creatures definitely liked it in the water. Skull-shaped, which would make it easier to catch fish and other aquatic prey, along with the nostrils at the tip of the snout, the animals look well adapted to living in the water.
Its massive neck could make it easier to either hunt well below the water’s surface, or perhaps even peek over the water to scan the shore for prey that gets too close. Either way, the creatures were incredibly unique, and if you happened to be swimming in shallow water about 242 million years ago, you may have encountered one. It probably wouldn’t end well for you.