Each day scientists make new discoveries that changes how we live or increase our knowledge of other living things that existed before us. Recently, World Tech Today reported the finding of a 243 million year old Atopodentatus which is now known as the first vegan prehistoric reptile. The finding of the new creature is so absurd that scientists say that it reminds them of fanciful beasts in children’s books. Read on to find out more about the latest discovery by National Geographic.
The Atopodentatus, that are to date known as the first herbivorous marine reptile, lived in what is now South Central China. Nearly two years ago paleontologists reported the finding of the first Atopodentatus fossil which suggested that the creature might have had a drooping snout and a vertical set of teeth. The researchers also predicted that the unusual creature used its beak to scrape around the seabed for its meal.
However, the new sighting changed the views of the scientists. According to the new discovery, researchers believe that the 9-foot-long (2.75 meters) hammerhead creature was vegan and had different dietary preferences. The new set of fossils show that the prehistoric reptile had chisel-shaped teeth all around its jaw. This means that the Atopodentatus used the sharp teeth to nip off algae or other similar plants from the rocky surface of the sea and then forced water out the side teeth with his mouth closed.
Most of us when hearing the word “hammerhead” immediately think about sharks. However, the features of the latest finding differ from that of sharks as scientists found it challenging to verify which group of family did the Atopodentatus belonged to. Nevertheless it is believed that they existed during the Triassic Period when more than 95% of the marine life was washed out as a result of the most devastating mass extinction. Findings of other creatures from that era have also been studied including the Dinocephalosaurus, which was 17 foot in length. The Dinocephalosaurus had a long neck which accounted for half of its body.
Scientists, who are used to discovering unusual creatures on earth, marveled at their latest discovery. If the study proved to be true, the Atopodentatus would be the first vegan prehistoric reptile that was found on the face of this earth. Nick Fraser, a researcher at the National Museum Scotland believes that this is just the beginning. They are pretty sure that more bizarre creatures are still hidden in these deposits. Let’s wait and watch for more peculiar and exciting discoveries like this one.