Kyhytysuka sachicarum: New Marine Reptile Discovered
7th Dec, 2021
Recently, an international team of researchers has discovered a new marine reptile named Kyhytysuka sachicarum.
- Kyhytysuka means “the one that cuts with something sharp”. The word belongs to the indigenous language of central Columbia.
- The new species has been named Kyhytysuka sachicarum to honour the Muisca culture of central Columbia.
- The Muisca is also called Chibcha. They were conquered by the Spanish in 1537. They were mainly agrarians. They also extracted salt from the sea.
- The fossil is a stunningly preserved meter-long skull, is one of the last surviving ichthyosaurs – ancient animals that look eerily like living swordfish.
- They are the members of an extinct group of aquatic reptiles, most of which were very similar to porpoises in appearance and habits.
- They had a very wide geographic distribution, and their fossil remains span almost the entire Mesozoic Era.
- They are first known from the Triassic Period of Asia, where they began as long-bodied, undulating swimmers without many of the specializations seen in later species.
Features of Kyhytysuka
- It was a mid – sized ophthalmosaurian. The Ophthalmosaurus belonged to the Jurassic period.
- It had extremely large sized eyes, dolphin – shaped body.
- The jaws had many robust teeth.
- It had several adaptations.
- It was a macro predatory vertebrate hunter, which means it hunted larger vertebrates. Vertebrates are organisms with backbone. Organisms without backbone are called invertebrates.
- The species was mostly found in shallow waters.
- The dentary is the longest bone of the species. It measures 720 mm.
- The dentition is the most unique feature of the species.
- The teeth are seated in continuous grooves. The teeth are slightly curved posteriorly. Also, an alternating wave – like pattern is observed.