The animal is 12 meters long, weighs about 15 tons and is the largest example ever found in the reptile family Elasmosauridae .
Researchers believe the fossil of this long-necked creature is a Plesiosaur (Snake Head Lizard). Somehow, it survived when the dinosaurs went extinct.
Thanks to its long neck, some have theorized that this is the creature that opens the mysterious story of the legendary Loch Ness monster .
Plesiosaur was a long-necked dinosaur that breathed air but was also a good swimmer. However, every few minutes they swim underwater, they poke their heads out of the water to catch their breath.
Researchers often speculate that, if the Loch Ness monster really exists, it could be a lucky dinosaur that survived. This dinosaur certainly also belongs to the species of long neck, long tail and small head.
The newly discovered fossil is an aquatic reptile that swam in the sea during the Cretaceous period. It is currently one of the oldest and most complete fossils ever discovered in Antarctica.
Jose O’Gorman , a paleontologist with the Argentine National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) told National Geographic :
This is a mystery that we have not been able to determine for many years, we do not know if this is Elasmosaurus or not. They belong to some strange long-necked dinosaur that no one knows.
The fossil was actually found in 1989, when William Zinsmeister of Purdue University discovered the fossil on Seymour Island, just south of the Antarctic Peninsula.
However, because the weather was too cold and there were not enough mining resources, the fossils were not excavated. Until 2012, a research team from the Argentine Antarctic Institute was involved and finally completed the discovery of the skeleton in 2017.