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January 11 2013

Giant Triassic Ichthyosaur Found in Nevada Desert

The ichthyosaur, called Thalattoarchon saurophagis (means lizard-eating sovereign of the sea), was found in what is today Favret Canyon in Augusta Mountains, Nevada. Most of the creature was preserved, including the skull, parts of the fins, and the complete vertebral column up to the tip of the tail.

Thalattoarchon is an early representative of the ichthyosaurs, a group of marine reptiles that lived at the same time as dinosaurs and roamed the oceans for 160 million years. It was about 28 feet (8.6 m) in length, had a massive skull and jaws armed with large teeth with cutting edges used to seize and slice through other marine reptiles in the Triassic seas.

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