Arctic pliosaur is new species

Another giant pliosauroid plesiosaur fossil from Arctic Svalbard Islands appears to represent a new species. The specimen was discovered and initial excavations took place in Summer 2007. The treasure trove of marine reptile fossils were first discovered in 2006 by a team from the University of Oslo, Natural History Museum, led by Dr. Jørn Hurum and Hans Arne Nakrem; they discovered ichthyosaurs and a large pliosaur, which became known as the ‘Monster’ in the popular press. The new pliosaur was uncovered when the team returned to the locality – it seems to be the same species as the original ‘Monster’. The collected parts of the fossil include teeth, skull fragments and vertebrae, but the specimen is only partly uncovered and so the dig will continue next year. A more detailed review of the findings will also be presented next year.

arctic pliosaur

Image by Tor Sponga, copyright Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway

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