Ancient reptile in Alaska: Elasmosaur Alaska

Published: August 7, 2015

Ancient reptile in Alaska: Elasmosaur Alaska, Researchers have uncovered the fossilized remains of an ancient, long-necked species of marine reptile known as an elasmosaur in the mountains of southern Alaska, marking the first time remains of the creature have been found in that state, according to reports.

Patrick Druckenmiller, earth sciences curator at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, told LiveScience that the creature also had paddlelike appendages and lived in the seas roughly 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. The elasmosaur is a member of the odd group of marine reptiles known as plesiosaurs, the explained to the website.

The majority of the bones remain trapped within a rocky cliff in the Talkeetna Mountains, which means that scientists have not yet had an opportunity to measure the creature’s skeleton as of yet. However, Druckenmiller (who visited the fossil site in June) estimated that the animal was about 25 feet (7.6 meters) long, and that its neck comprised nearly half of that body length.

The elasmosaur was carnivorous, he told KTNA in Talkeetna, and said that while he was “a little loathe to use the comparison,” compared the creature to the mythical Loch Ness Monster, a long-necked creature that he explained was “basically based on the body plan of an elasmosaur.”


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