Kyhytysuka Sachicarum

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    In News 

    • A team of international researchers from Canada, Colombia, and Germany has discovered a new extinct marine reptile.
      • A new 130-million-year-old marine reptile fossil sheds light on the evolution of hypercarnivory of these last-surviving ichthyosaurs.

    About Kyhytysuka sachicarum

    • The specimen, a stunningly preserved metre-long skull, is one of the last surviving ichthyosaurs – ancient animals that look eerily like living swordfish.
    • Unique dentition
      • It evolved a unique dentition that allowed it to eat large prey.
      • Whereas other ichthyosaurs had small, equally sized teeth for feeding on small prey.
    • Naming : 
      • They decided to name it Kyhytysuka which translates to ‘the one that cuts with something sharp’ in an indigenous language from the region in central Colombia where the fossil was found, to honour the ancient Muisca culture that existed there for millennia.
    • Comparison : 
      • Researchers compared this animal to other Jurassic and Cretaceous ichthyosaurs and were able to define a new type of ichthyosaurs.
    • Time Period 
      • This species comes from an important transitional time during the Early Cretaceous period. 
      • At this time, the Earth was coming out of a relatively cool period, had rising sea levels, and the supercontinent Pangea was splitting into northern and southern landmasses. 
        • There was also a global extinction event at the end of the Jurassic that changed marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

     Image courtesy:Mcgill.ca

    Source: IE