Prehistoric Marine Reptile Fossil Found With Embryo Inside

PlesiosaurIt’s been a widely accepted fact that reptiles lay eggs. But did they always? New findings in a pleiosaurs’ fossil revealed that this marine reptile gave birth to live young. Via New Scientist:

Think less sea monsters, more doting parents: the long-necked plesiosaurs that roamed the seas during the dinosaur era gave birth to live young. They probably cared for their offspring and may even have lived in large social groups, like modern-day whales.

Plesiosaurs were reptiles, which as a group tend to lay eggs rather than giving birth. Other prehistoric marine reptiles were known to be exceptions to that rule, but until now fossil evidence that plesiosaurs did the same has been frustratingly elusive. “People have looked and looked,” says F. Robin O’Keefe of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Last year O’Keefe was called in to help prepare a fossil plesiosaur for display in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Originally excavated by a Kansas family on their ranch in 1987, it had sat in the museum basement ever since, until Luis Chiappe, director of the museum’s dinosaur institute, decided to take a closer look.

[Continues at New Scientist]

8 Comments on "Prehistoric Marine Reptile Fossil Found With Embryo Inside"

  1. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm |

    NerdGASM.

    i have had a thing for marine reptiles since we did dino-studies in 2nd grad. so. cool.

  2. Jin The Ninja | Aug 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

    NerdGASM.

    i have had a thing for marine reptiles since we did dino-studies in 2nd grad. so. cool.

  3. Anonymous | Aug 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

    Wow.  This one must put Michelle Bachmann et alia in quite the conundrum.  Do we condone abortion under any conditions?  Even if it is the scaley spawn of Satan?

  4. Liam_McGonagle | Aug 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

    Wow.  This one must put Michelle Bachmann et alia in quite the conundrum.  Do we condone abortion under any conditions?  Even if it is the scaley spawn of Satan?

    • We both know this is just a matter of inaccurate dating. It was created by God 6000 years ago…and they just couldn’t fit on the ark. It was  sad sad sight as Noah floated by…all those long necks peeking out of the water and looking mournfully as he floated off to meet his destiny. Finding their bones in rock strata millions of years old is just a joke God pulled that we haven’t worked out the punchline to yet… like the platypus. 🙂

  5. respect cult | Aug 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm |

    Its not mine I was wearing protection 

  6. respect cult | Aug 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    Its not mine I was wearing protection 

  7. We both know this is just a matter of inaccurate dating. It was created by God 6000 years ago…and they just couldn’t fit on the ark. It was  sad sad sight as Noah floated by…all those long necks peeking out of the water and looking mournfully as he floated off to meet his destiny. Finding their bones in rock strata millions of years old is just a joke God pulled that we haven’t worked out the punchline to yet… like the platypus. 🙂

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