Earth’s first giant

A skull two meters long, a total body length of 17 meters, a weight of 45 tons, fins that comb the sea – what sounds like a sperm whale is actually a reptile and lived around 250 million years ago. Now, an international team of researchers led by the Universities of Bonn and Mainz, as well as the Claremont Colleges and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, reports on this first giant animal that ever evolved. The study, published in the journal Science, shows that the ichthyosaurs evolved their impressive size within only three million years, much faster than the evolution of gigantism in today’s whales.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft