An ancient human-sized marine lizard rewrites the history of early armored marine reptiles

An artist’s interpretation of what the newly discovered species are, Prosaurosphargis yingzishanensisit may have seemed so. (Image credit: Wolniewicz et al./eLife)

A new study shows that a 250-million-year-old extinct marine reptile that was covered in bony armor and swam in shallow waters in what is now southern China could rewrite the family tree of the armored marine reptiles and hint at why they first appeared. .

Newly discovered species, its name Prosaurosphargis yingzishanensisIt was identified from a partial skeleton first discovered in 2019 at the Yingzishan Quarry in China’s Hubei Province. P. yingzishanensis It belongs to the family Saurosphargidae, a group of marine, armored reptiles with broad dorsal ribs that make them look more stocky than other marine reptiles. (Sauorsphargidae is a combination of the Greek words for lizard, “sauros”, and leatherback turtle, “sphagis”.)

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