March 24, 2023


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They have waited 180 million years to be found.  The well-preserved remains are a reminder of a sea monster

They have waited 180 million years to be found. The well-preserved remains are a reminder of a sea monster

These remains belong to the ichthyosaur, one of the marine reptiles that inhabited the seas and oceans of the Earth millions of years ago. More precisely, these animals disappeared from the face of our planet long before the asteroid collision that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. It is estimated that they ended about 93 million years ago.

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Meanwhile, the described specimen is almost twice as old, as it is about 180 million years old. It was found by workers involved in the construction of the TGV express line in Lorraine, France. How Claudia Florian explainsrepresentative of Bonhams, one of the world’s oldest auction houses, the specimen is well preserved and nearly complete – up to 80 percent of the bones have survived the test of time.

The remains belong to an ichthyosaur and still contain about 80 percent of the bones

For this reason, experts predict that the skeleton will be sold for millions of zlotys. The auction is scheduled to take place on December 13 in Paris, and its expected price is 400-600 thousand euros. A distinctive feature in this case is the fact that the bones were not only not destroyed, but also retained their three-dimensional shape. This is rare for remains that have been underground for millions of years.

The question of the evolution of ichthyosaurs is very interesting. For although they initially came out of the water onto land, in the course of evolution they apparently discovered that life in the seas and oceans was better. As a result, animals that were mistaken for dinosaurs were often swimming back in the water. A few months ago, another very old person was found in Chile. The 139-million-year-old fossil was associated with a female who was pregnant at the time of her death.

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As you can probably imagine, meeting an ichthyosaur face-to-face wouldn’t be a pleasant experience. Equipped with about 200 sharp teeth, these predators manage to deal with relatively large prey. Smaller individuals hunted fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods, but the larger ones had no problem killing even large vertebrates, including other ichthyosaurs.