Paleo Profile: Russia’s Curved Blade
It’s difficult to resist calling pliosaurs sea monsters. Their long, toothy jaws and strange, streamlined shapes make them dead ringers for what we fear waiting for us in the deep and, for my own part, I’m a little less hesitant to plunge into the ocean knowing that the last of them went extinct over 66 million years ago.
Many pliosaurs are cast in the same role – as big apex predators capable of munching on prey as large, if not larger than, themselves. But not all pliosaurs accomplished these gustatory feats in the same fashion. A new fossil pliosaur described by paleontologist Valentin Fischer and colleagues late last year hints that one carnivore, at least, was accomplishing the same task in