After many years of work in a very hostile environment, Argentine scientists achieved the expected results. They discovered the fossilized bones of a monster in Antarctica. It’s an elasmosaurus that was an aquatic reptile. It is estimated to be the heaviest found to date, dating from the Cretaceous Period.
The discovery further confirms that there is a marine ecosystem in Antarctica that has been formed since the dinosaurs became extinct. Scientific and archaeological findings confirm its existence on the frozen continent.
They discovered a 15-ton monster in Antarctica that swam in these waters
According to calculations by archaeological experts, the animal weighed about 15 tons. It is distinguished by the fact that it is the oldest and most complete in Antarctica. Elasmosaurs belong to the plesiosaur family. They had large fins instead of legs. Their necks were long and ended in a head very much like a snake.
The specimen found differs from elasmosaurs in the northern hemisphere in its size and weight. In addition, the head is larger and the neck is shorter. Because of this, it was included in the genus of Aristonectes.
Those who worked on the expedition called the monster in Antarctica “the thing”. Although a year has passed since they found it, the elasmosaur they found still doesn’t have a specific name. Paleontologists from Utrecht University in the Netherlands believed that the discovered bones belonged to a huge animal.
A job that took many years to develop
A scientist from the University of Pardue made the discovery in 1989. However, he did not have the resources to carry out the excavations on Seymour Island on the Antarctic Peninsula.
For this reason, he informed Argentine scientists of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) about the discovery. They worked to recover the dinosaur for 30 years.
One of the main obstacles in completing the mission was the weather and the logistics of the expedition. On the Antarctic continent you can only work in the months of January and February. At this point the ground is permanently frozen. The excavated fossils were brought to the Argentine Navy’s Marambio base, which is relatively nearby.
The discovery confirms that marine fauna was very rich in Antarctica
The specimen comes from the late Cretaceous period. It is estimated that it takes about 30,000 years for the dinosaurs to disappear. Given the size of the animal found, there is no doubt that the appetites of these specimens were very large.
This shows that there was a wide variety of foods to satisfy this appetite. This shows the existence of a very diverse marine fauna in Antarctica that can feed animals as large as the ones found.