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Anatonatrix stromeri

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Now we visit the Oligocene, Egypt to be exact. 
Here not far from the Wadi al-Hitan, scientists stumbled over one of the oldest known fully aquatic sea serpents. One of the first fossils is shown here: a jaw fragment. When the paleontologists cut out the whole block they had no idea what this bone could be which laid at the surface, but after removing the rock matrix it became clear that this was one of the most specialized natrixosaurs which we know so far.
The skull was flattened and the teeth stood very close. In addition it was with 1,8m very small for a sea serpent. 
Long it was speculated on which prey Anatonatrix may had feed, plankton, plants and large fishes where on the list but today most scientists believe that it hunted mostly on small fishes and shrimps. 

The phylogenetic position of the species was also uncertain for a long time until Carter et al. (2013) showed that it were most likely a sister taxon of the modern sea serpents.
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Comments39
anonymous's avatar
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Midiaou's avatar
MidiaouHobbyist General Artist
just realized it looks a bit like Atopodentatus!
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
That's why I shared it again on Facebook some time ago =D 
Pachyornis's avatar
PachyornisHobbyist
Ich liebe deine speculative evolution-Arbeiten, da ist Specworld nichts dagegen^^
Ich hab auch einen Haufen zu dem Thema ausgearbeitet und wollte das alles auf einem Blog präsentieren, aber hab leider nicht annähernd die Zeit für all die Illustrationen. 
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Danke =D (tschuldige wegen der späten Antwort, ich war im Urlaub)

Das ist ein Jammer, bei deinem Stil könnte ich mir vorstellen das da so einiges gutes rauskommt =D
Pachyornis's avatar
PachyornisHobbyist
Thx!^^
Traheripteryx's avatar
TraheripteryxHobbyist General Artist
Interessantes Konzept!
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Danke =D
Traheripteryx's avatar
TraheripteryxHobbyist General Artist
Keine Ursache!
YemaYema's avatar
YemaYemaProfessional General Artist
nice and interesting as always. :)
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Thanks =D
Zinnorokkrah's avatar
Ooh, a duckbilled sea serpent. That's interesting. I notice the flippers seem particularly robust, was this species better at terrestrial motion than most other sea serpents?
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
That's possible, we know that river serpents, which had an similar limb design, were able to rob on land for a short time, especially juveniles were able to stay on land for some time (when you look close at the river serpents you may notice small hoof like claws...)
Zinnorokkrah's avatar
Yes I did, and the spurs. Were the spurs used in a similar fashion to the declaws on roosters in that they were for combat between members of the same species?
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
You mean the false river serpents =)

They use these claws to clip at the partner during mating. Sometimes other males try to separate the couple and it's difficult to mate in full darkness ;)
Rodlox's avatar
iterative evolution - like the Pancake Croc  (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laganosu…

fantastic creation.
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Oh, indeed Laganosuchus has a few similarities =)
WildWonderWorld's avatar
Really nice work :)
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Thanks =D
WildWonderWorld's avatar
you're welcome :D
ShinRedDear's avatar
ShinRedDearHobbyist Traditional Artist
Am I detecting a bit of Tiktaalik influence for the skull ? ;)
Once again, a wonderful (and surprising) addition to your series and one that would definitely find its place in a science book. :)
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Thanks :hug:

Surprisingly Tiktaalik or Nigersaurus were never on my list, instead the skull of an Komodo dragon inspired me =)
PaleoAustin's avatar
PaleoAustinHobbyist General Artist
There sure are a lot of creatures from Africa with wide mouths. "cough" Nigersaurus "cough"
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Surprisingly Nigersaurus was never a inspiration for this creature... but there are indeed a few similarities =)
PineRain's avatar
PineRainHobbyist General Artist
I really like this!
anonymous's avatar
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