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Kyhytysuka sachicarum: New Marine Reptile Discovered

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    7th Dec, 2021

Context

Recently, an international team of researchers has discovered a new marine reptile named Kyhytysuka sachicarum.

About

Key-Points

  • 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.
  • Ichthyosaur-
    • 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.
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