Researchers Describe Ancient Reptile Similar to Platypus

Researchers Describe Ancient Reptile Similar to Platypus

Science

Researchers recently discovered specimens of the mysterious, platypus-like reptile. The remnants suggest that the ancient creature has tiny eyes for its size. While the duck-billed platypus is one of the strange creatures in the planet, its ancient relative was just odd as it. Scientists recently discovered Eretmorhipis carrolldongi, a marine reptile. 250 million years ago the creature swam in shallow sea water. Experts say the biological features of the creature are strange and puzzling. New research in the journal Scientific Reports describes the newly found species. Previously, scientists had only some parts of fossils, remarkably absence of skull. But the two new fossils include a skull. The new finding indicates that the Eretmorhipis carrolldongi had a bill made of cartilage.

Depending on its appearance, the creature seems to be a unique one. Depending upon a study of the bone structure of the fossils, an international group of researchers has concluded that Eretmorhipis once backed flat cartilaginous bills. Reptiles like Platypus have bills filled with receptors. They use those bills to detect a target in low-visibility. They use the sense of touch in muddy streams where vision is unclear. Provided that platypuses don’t depend on their sight, and their eyes are relatively small.

The structure of Eretmorhipis carrolldongi’s skull reveals that they also had small eyes. They used bills to sense for prey, i.e., they used the same technique as platypuses. The new creature measured about 70 centimeters long with a long firm body. It had a small head, tiny eyes, and a set of flippers. Prof. Ryosuke Motani, a paleontologist at the University of California, says they are not sure whether Eretmorhipis ate or not. Probably, those reptiles fed on small worms, shrimps, and other small invertebrates. He said, the modern world is not suitable for it, but it didn’t have any enemies currently.

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