Scientists have studied the ancient reptile with a selfie stick on a fishing rod. It turned out that 70 million years ago they lived on several continents at once.
The skeleton of the extinct “fish lizard”, which was stored in a glass cube at an altitude of almost 5 m, was able to study thanks to a selfie stick on a fishing rod. Nannopterygius is a species of ichthyosaur that has existed on Earth for about 76 million years. It is on display at the Museum of Natural History in London, but the glass display case is too high to be easily viewed. To lower the cube is too dangerous – the exhibit can be damaged.
Russian paleontologist Nikolai Zverkov wanted to study this specimen, as he believed that some Russian ichthyosaurs could be his relatives. In order to photograph and evaluate his skeleton, Zverkov attached a digital camera on a selfie stick to the fishing rod and connected it to the computer via a very long USB cable. He passed the photographs to the Paleontologist at the University of Portsmouth, Megan Jacobs, who also studied ichthyosaurs.
“The study of this mysterious animal showed that it was actually very common not only in England but also in the European part of Russia and in the Arctic”, the researchers note.
Thanks to new research, several more Nannopterygius specimens have been found in museum collections around the world. Researchers proved that they met much more often than previously thought. “For decades, the scientific community has believed that this ichthyosaur is the rarest and least known. Finally, we can say that we know almost every detail of their skeleton. The answer was very close – we just needed a fishing rod”.