250 Million Year Old Fossils of World’s Largest Creature Found in Swiss Alps

Fossils of Giant Dolphin-Like Marine Reptiles Found in Swiss Alps – Gizmodo

Whale-sized Fish-Lizard creatures called ichthyosaurs were some of the most enormous living beings on Earth 200 million years ago, at up to 80 tons and 65 feet in length.  Finding fossils of massive sea creatures in the high elevations of the Swiss Alps would seem like a modern mystery, but the world has changed dramatically in that time.  The same ‘land’ at 9,186 feet up used to be submerged under a vast lagoon, and 95 million years ago, the tectonic plates started to shift, creating the Swiss Alps and sending the fossils soaring to mountainous heights.

Fossils of the same creatures have been found in Nevada, but the discovery proves they had a worldwide range.  Paleontologists think there may be more “giant sea creatures hidden beneath the glaciers.”  Efforts are underway to find new and better fossils to complete a knowledge gap on giant marine lizards.

A study detailing the discovery published Thursday in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Read more on this story at the following additional news sources:

  1. Fossils of Giant Dolphin-Like Marine Reptiles Found in Swiss Alps  Gizmodo
  2. ‘Fish lizard’ fossils found in Swiss Alps belonged to some of the largest creatures that ever lived  CNN
  3. Gigantic New Beast – One of the Largest Animals Ever – Discovered High in the Alps  SciTechDaily
  4. One Of World’s Largest Ichthyosaurs Found 2800 Meters Up A Mountain In The Alps  IFLScience
  5. Giant ichthyosaur’s huge tooth points to sea creatures with robust bite  The Guardian