Mean atmospheric O2
Geologic Time Scale
A pair of 20-foot-long,
300 pound reptiles of the genus Tanystropheus swim in an ocean bay 230 million years ago in what is today
China. On the shore are a pair of 6-foot-long bipedal basal saurischian
dinosaurs and beyond them on the horizon are 60-foot-tall araucarians, an ancient family
of coniferous trees. Horsetails and ferns flourish near the water.
Tanystropheus was likely a fish-eater due to its long, narrow snout and sharp interlocking teeth typical of marine predators. Tanystropheus had an extraordinarily long neck, as long as its body and tail combined, though with only ten vertebrae it was likely not very flexible. Here Tanystropheus are shown extending their head and necks fully out of the water, which may have indeed been possible due to a heavy and muscular counter-balancing tail.
Copyright © Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.
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