Ichthyosaur fossils recovered in Chilean Patagonia – 05/13/2022

Chilean scientists have managed to recover one of the most complete Reptile Fish fossils in the world, with intact embryos, from the Tyndall Glacier in the Chilean Patagonia region.

the preserved and pregnant ancient marine reptiles have been given the nickname “Fiona” by scientists. A 4m-long fossil will help the team study the embryonic development of ichthyosaurs that roamed the seas between 250 and 90 million years ago.

According to the scientist who discovered it, Judith Pardo, the fossil “is the only pregnant ichthyosaur that has been found on the planet between 139 and 129 million years ago.” “So it’s extremely important,” he said.

Pardo, a paleontologist at the University of Magellan’s Gaia Antarctic Research Center, discovered the fossil more than a decade ago, but extreme weather conditions, rugged terrain and distance from the site made extraction a challenge complex logistics.

Scientists spent 31 days extracting the fossil, which had to be transported from the site by helicopter. Because the fossil was so complete, paleontologists said they would have to remove five blocks weighing 200 kilograms to keep the bones intact.

The fossil is being prepared for display at the Rio Seco Natural History Museum in southern Chile.

Pardo said scientists also discovered 23 ichthyosaur specimens during the expedition, bringing the total found on Tyndall Glacier to around 100 and making the area one of the hottest sites in the world. The most abundant and best preserved ichthyosaurs on the planet.

Translated by Luiz Roberto M. Gonsalves

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