Four teeth once belonging to plesiosaur aquatic predators about 148 million years ago have been uncovered by scientists in Poland’s central Lodzkie province.
Plesiosaurs are among the most prevalent marine predators to have lived on Earth during the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous period (around 237-145 million years ago). They usually measured between 3.5 and 5 metres in length and ate mainly fish.
Scientists from Krakow’s Jagiellonian University and the Polish Academy of Sciences made the discovery at a quarry in Owadow-Brzezinski, which is one of Poland’s most interesting paleontological sites, known for its unusually well-preserved Late Jurassic fossils of marine and terrestrial life. It is also the location of a geopark and paleontological museum.
Lukasz Werynski, a graduate student of the Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Geological Sciences, said of the find: “They are exceptionally well-preserved teeth. Their characteristic appearance: the elongated, conical shape, their curve at the correct angle and the visible furrows on the surface, allow us to assume that they belonged to plesiosaurs, probably from the family Cryptoclididae, living chiefly in the area of today’s northern Europe, especially England.”
The longest of the teeth measures 5 cm. They do not all come from the same creature as they were found in different parts of the quarry over a two-year period.