Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Live birth reptile: Fossil of oldest sea monster babies found

See also

A new study now says that the oldest embryos of a Mesozoic marine reptile have been unearthed in China. According to Live Science on Feb. 12, 2014, that pre-dates the previous record by 10 million years, and showed an ichthyosaur baby inside its mother and another stuck in per pelvis for the live birth reptile.

A third embryo was actually found nearby and study of it suggests that it was stillborn. Scientists believe that the mother ended up dying during a very difficult labor.

It is believed that the 248-million-year-old fossil is from the Mesozoic era (252 to 66 million years ago).

The age of the Mesozoic-era fossil isn't the only thing that was realized by the discovery, but a long-time belief about ichthyosaurs - aka sea monsters - giving birth in water and not on land could be shattered.

Scientists came to this conclusion because the fossil actually showed the baby being delivered head-first. This is a behavior found in animals that only give birth on land. Most marine animals born in the water, come out tail-first.

"That was a big surprise. Initially I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that," said study leader Ryosuke Motani, a prehistoric marine reptile expert at the University of California, Davis who was involved in the study.

A lot more studying and research needs to be done about the live birth reptile and if land or water births were more common.

Burial positions already of the fossils already show that it was unlikely the babies were released from the mother after death.

"The reason for this animal dying is likely difficulty in labor," said Ryosuke Motani, lead study author and a paleobiologist at the University of California, Davis. Motani believes the first baby was born dead, and the mother may have died of a labor complication from the second, which is stuck half-in, half-out of her body. "Obviously, the mother had some complications," he said.

For e-mail updates whenever a new article is posted, please subscribe at the bottom of the page and follow me on Twitter, GoogleBuzz, or join my group on Facebook and Celebrity Buzz.



  •  One year later
    How victims have recovered a year after the Boston Marathon bombing
    Watch Video
  • Tax day freebies
    Everyone dreads tax day, but some businesses are offering deals today only
    Tax Day
  • Obamacare savings
    The rollout of Obamacare will cost $104 billion less than previously projected
    Top News
  • Blood Moon
    The first of four 'Blood Moons' came and went; is it the beginning of the end for mankind?
  • Arrest for threatening tweet
    A 14-year-old girl is arrested for issuing a threatening tweet towards American Airlines
    Strange News
  • Pistorius cross examination concludes
    Oscar Pistorius sheds more tears during the trial's final cross examination
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!