In Antarctica, the fossil of a gigantic sea creature resembling the Loch Ness Monster was uncovered.
The animal, 40 feet long, would have weighed about 15 tons and is the biggest illustration of the reptile elasmosaurid family ever discovered.
Some believe that when the dinosaurs were wiped out, the creature, which had a lengthy giraffe-like neck and a head resembling a snake, somehow survived.
Thanks to its long neck, some individuals offered the beginnings of the Loch Ness monster myth as proposed by this creature.
This elasmosaur is thought to be the heaviest of its kind, found on a tiny, desolate island off Antarctica, and it is one of the most full ancestral reptile fossils ever discovered on the southernmost continent.
During the Cretaceous period, the creature-with a snake-like head, a long neck like a giraffe, and a manatee-like body-lived alongside the dinosaurs.
Researchers believe that the creature belongs to the Aristonectes genus, which has been deemed an outsider to other elasmosaurs as they have shorter necks and bigger skulls.
The fact that these dinosaurs spent most of their time in the water will add to Nessie’s legend, as the water would have helped to support her huge weight.
‘For years it was a mystery … we didn’t know if they were elasmosaurs or not,’ said paleontologist José O’Gorman of Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council told the National Geographic.
Nessie’s head and neck similarity to that of a dinosaur led individuals to say it was a sauropod that survived.
‘They were some kind of weird plesiosaurs that nobody knew.’
Then the Argentina Antarctic Institute got involved and in 2012 began excavating the fossil, which took years due to weather and logistical issues.
Finally, much of the skeleton had been retrieved when the excavation was completed in 2017.
Also, the fresh specimen is very exciting because it dates so near to the end of the Cretaceous— just 30,000 years before the dinosaurs’ mass extinction about 66 million years ago.
To fulfill the appetite of such a big creature, the scientists said, a lot of marine life would have been required to flourish there.
Now the fossil is being analyzed to know more about the reptile of the ancient ocean.