A reptile species, which lived during the Middle Triassic period about 242 million years ago, named Tanystropheus with a really long neck has been puzzling scientists ever since a fossil was discovered back in 1852. However, recently, in a new study, scientists unveiled some absolutely amazing facts surrounding the animal. This news soon reached social media, and has since created quite a buzz online.
“For those people who are interested in Triassic reptiles, it’s always been not only an iconic fossil but also a matter of dispute and discussion,” Olivier Rieppel, a palaeontologist at the Field Museum in Chicago and one of the study’s authors said to CNN.
An illustration of Tanystropheus shared on Twitter.
Twitter/Field Museum (Emma Finley-Jacob)
Field Museum also took to Twitter to share a thread detailing various interesting facts discovered about the reptile and a link to a report by CNN. “Since 1852, scientists have been puzzling over Tanystropheus, an animal that lived 242 million years ago. Long, hollow bones suggested it was a flying reptile, like a pterodactyl. In fact, these were neck bones,” they tweeted and shared an illustration of the reptile.
They also tweeted that these animals with remarkably huge necks didn’t stay on land but in water.
Tanystropheus was a 20-foot-long reptile with a 10-foot-long neck. But scientists still didn’t know if it grazed the land or swam the waters. 🤔
Would you rather have a neck or legs twice as long as your body?
— Field Museum (@FieldMuseum) August 7, 2020
The species once lived in Switzerland’s Monte San Giorgio basin during the Middle Triassic period, reports CNN. They also had unusual looking long necks which were about 10 feet long, half of their entire 20-foot-long body.
Tanystropheus has always intrigued scientists. Now, by using the computed tomography (CT) scan technology scientists have digitally reconstructed the crushed skulls of the fossils, which presented them with new information.
People shared various comments on social media platforms, especially Twitter.
Tanystropheus wants you to know that you can do it! pic.twitter.com/uSPa0CvDCE
— Joe Montibello (@firstweet) August 6, 2020
Tanystropheus has been one of my favs since I was really little and I’m happy to see that long little guy on my feed today. Half asleep so I’m not reading the new study until morning tho lol
— Marie @ COMMISSIONS OPEN #bIm (@SlushieCafe) August 8, 2020
I have never heard of this boy before but I already love his long long neck. This boy hogging all the neck!
— Abby (@Maebold) August 8, 2020
Just learned about the tanystropheus for the first time, thanks to science alert emails that I get, and y’all this thing makes a giraffe look short-necked.
— Amanda Morris 🌵 (@AmandaMoMorris) August 7, 2020
The best news of today is that MY BOY tanystropheus is getting Twitter love ❤❤
— Three Hares (@threehares) August 8, 2020
What are your thoughts?