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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mesosaurus



Mesosaurus was a small marine reptile that lived during the late Carboniferous of the Permian period, roughly 280 to 220 million years ago. The animal is known from South Africa and parts of South America. It resembles a small alligator, although the largest specimen is almost 2 meters in length, 40 centimeters seems more common. It was probably the largest animal in its time. Mesosaur is believed to have fed on fish or possibly crustaceans by using its teeth as a sieve. Mesosaurus is the first known reptile to return to the water after evolving on land. Because the same genus of Mesosaurus was found in both Africa and South America, it was significant in demonstrating and proving continental drift.

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