130 million years old animal - level 3
These are the fossilized remains of a plesiosaur, a marine reptile that lived 130 million years ago. Colombian paleontologists recovered the skeleton on Saturday.
“At the excavation, we’re cleaning up a large prehistoric animal called a plesiosaur. The plesiosaurs were large marine reptiles.”
Long-necked plesiosaurs swam in the Southern Ocean when the Earth was far warmer than it is today. The eight-meter reptile was found at a site in the central state of Boyaca, which was believed to have been flooded during the Cretaceous Period.
“This animal lived approximately 130 million years ago. At that time, almost half of Colombia had a gradual marine flooding that lasted in the west until the end of the Cretaceous Period.”
Plesiosaurs have also been found in Australia, North America, northern Europe and Antarctica.
Difficult words: fossilized (turned into a fossil/rock), marine reptile (cold-blooded animal which lives in the water), paleontologist (person who studies fossils), excavation (digging to find something), approximately (not exactly).
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