''Sea Monster'' Graveyard Found in the Arctic

''Sea monster'' photo
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A 33-foot-long (10-meter-long) marine reptile dubbed the Monster leaps from the water to snare a smaller reptile known as a plesiosaur in this artist's interpretation.

The Monster is a member of a group of dino-era sea creatures called pliosaurs. Its fossil was among 28 specimens of predatory sea reptiles recently found on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen in Norway's Svalbard archipelago. The 150-million-year-old graveyard was unearthed by a team from the University of Oslo's Natural History Museum, along with a paleontologist from Montana State University in Bozeman.

The remains of the Monster may represent the largest complete pliosaur ever found. So far the team has uncovered a skull measuring 6.9 feet (2.1 meters) in length, dinner plate-size neck vertebrae, and portions of the lower jaw with huge teeth that the scientists say are as thick as cucumbers.

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Illustration by Tor Sponga, courtesy Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway
 
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