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Mesosaurus fossil

Mesosaurus fossil

E445/0255

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Credit

SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Mesosaurus skull fossil. Dorsal view of the jaws of the extinct aquatic reptile Mesosaurus tenuidens. The head is at left. Long thin teeth are splayed out on either side of the jaws. This skull morphology suggests that this reptile was a filter-feeder. It existed in the Permian period and was one of the first reptiles to return to water, where its amphibian ancestors came from. The discovery of Mesosaurus fossils in deposits in both South America and southern Africa was significant in proving the theory of continental drift. Photographed in Namibia.

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