Fossil of giant 70 million-year-old fish found in Argentina

Fossil of giant 70 million-year-old fish found in Argentina

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Fossil of giant 70 million-year-old fish found in Argentina

A giant 70 million-year-old fossil of a fish that lived amongst dinosaurs has been discovered in Argentine Patagonia, a team of researchers said on Monday.

Argentine palaeontologists “found the remains of a predator fish that was more than six meters long,” the researchers said in a statement.

The discovery was published in the scientific journal Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.

Fossil of giant 70 million-year-old fish found in Argentina
The fossilized remains of this Xiphactinus – similar to the one found in Argentina – was discovered in the US state of Kansas and sold at auction in 2010

The fish “swam in the Patagonian seas at the end of the Cretaceous Period when the temperature there was much more temperate than now,” the statement said.

“The fossils of this carnivorous animal with sharp teeth and scary appearance were found close to the Colhue Huapial lake” around 1,400 kilometres south of the capital Buenos Aires.

This fossil belonged to the Xiphactinus genus, “amongst the largest predatory fish that existed in the history of Earth.”

“Its body was notably slim and ended in a huge head with big jaws and teeth as sharp as needles, several centimetres long.”

Examples of this species have been found in other parts of the world, “some of which even have preserved stomach contents,” said Julieta de Pasqua, one of the study authors.

Previously, the Xiphactinus had only been found in the northern hemisphere, although one example was recently found in Venezuela.

Patagonia is one of the most important reservoirs of fossils of dinosaurs and prehistoric species.

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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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