Strange Science: Luskhan itilensis

Pliosaurus rossicus skullRussian scientists working in the Volga River in 2002 unearthed an enormous fossilized marine creature, which has now been identified as a new species. Luskhan itilensis, which means “Master Spirit of the Volga,” had a skull approximately 5-7 feet long, and lived roughly 130 million years ago. The fossil is that of a type of plesiosaur, but it combines features that had been previously unseen in that type of marine creature. If you want to read more about this fascinating critter, there’s a Newsweek article on the topic that summarizes the scholarly paper in Current Biology.

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