New fossil: Ancient sea reptile gave birth, didn't lay eggs
By Randolph E Schmid
The remains of a giant sea creature are providing the first proof that these prehistoric reptiles gave birth to their young rather than laying eggs.Plesiosaurs, which lived at the time of dinosaurs, were large carnivorous sea animals with broad bodies and two pairs of flippers. Researchers have long questioned whether they would have been able to crawl onto land and lay eggs like other reptiles or gave birth in the water like whales."This is the first evidence of live birth in plesiosaurs - an exciting find," said geology professor Judy A. Massare of the State University of New York, Brockport, who was not part of the research team.The newly unveiled fossil was originally discovered in 1987 in Logan County in Kansas. Encased in rock, it had been stored in the basement of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County until resources were available to separate the bones for display at the museum.F. Robin O'Keefe of Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va., and the museum's Luis Chiappe uncovered the bones of an adult plesiosaur and the remains of a foetus inside her. The museum dated the fossil, which is more than 15 feet long, to between 72 million and 78 million years ago.The researchers report on their analysis of the pregnant plesiosaur in the journal Science.
Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/New-fossil-Ancient-sea-reptile-gave-birth-didnt-lay-eggs/tabid/1160/articleID/221947/Default.aspx#ixzz1UnRXyL9g