TRENDING New fossils found in China reveal prehistoric reptile platypus


New fossils found in China reveal prehistoric reptile platypus

People's Daily app

09:28, February 19, 2019

Chinese paleontologists in Central China's Hubei Province have recently uncovered fossils of a prehistoric marine reptile that closely resembles the modern duck-billed platypus.

Two new specimens of the reptile discovered reveal that the animal, eretmorhipis carrolldongi, lived about 248 million years ago and showed similar hunting methods to today's platypus by using its bill made of cartilage.

The animal, about 70 centimeters long, also had a small head, tiny eyes, four flippers for swimming and a long, rigid body with triangular bony blades protruding from the back.

The specimens represent the oldest record of reptiles and mammals with extremely reduced visual capacity and used non-visual cues for prey detection, according to the paper published in Nature in January.

Before the study, eretmorhipis was only known from partial fossils with missing skulls, said Ryosuke Motani, a paleontologist at the University of California, Davis and co-author of the study.

(With inputs from China Daily)

(Video source: CGTN, cover image: VCG)

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