Media reported that researchers have just worked out an incredible bone-length “Tanystropheus hydroides.” Its neck length, which accounts for almost half of the body, may bring some unexpected benefits to the species. The researchers note that Tanystropheus hydroides may live in water, hunt food on shore, or fish with flexible necks.
(Photo: Current Biology / S.N.F. Spiekman)
The fossils, thousands of years ago, have piqued palaeontologists’ curiosity to find out exactly how Tanystropheus hydroides eat and live.
If they belong to reptiles, their slender necks can take up nearly half the total length (16 feet / about 5 meters), and we can almost only see such images in cartoons. But when it comes to hunting, this unique physical structure may give it a unique advantage.
Experts at these universities of paleontology have had a hard time finding out what they used to do, Science Alert reported.
In that unique era, some creatures may be very large in size, others may be quite petite. Even so, their necks are roughly the same as their bodies, meaning they may be larvae of the same species.
But after further examination of Google, scientists have finally determined that the smaller specimens belong to a completely different but closely related species. In addition, the researchers have many mysteries that need to be solved further.
For example, the environment in which the reptile lives, whether it can live in water, or amphibious. To answer this question, scientists had to piece together one of the standard skull fragments and use 3D scanning and modeling to dig into it.
Eventually, scientists decided that the creature preferred to live in water. Its skull is shape-encased to catch aquatic prey such as fish, and has pores in the upper part of its nose, and its long neck gives it the ability to hunt below the surface of the water and even spy on it to scan the prey near the coast.
In any case, the existence of this creature is quite unique. If you could go back to about 242 million years ago, you might have met it in shallow water, but the ending might not have been as good as you thought.