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    Four Plesiosaur Teeth Unearthed in Central Poland

    Scientists from the Jagiellonian University and the Polish Academy of Sciences have unearthed four well-preserved teeth belonging to plesiosaurs in the Owadów-Brzezinki quarry, located in the Sławno commune of Łódź voivodeship, central Poland. This finding is not only a testament to the region’s rich paleontological heritage but also marks the first documented presence of plesiosaurs in this particular site.

    Plesiosaurs, ancient marine reptiles that roamed the Earth from the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous, existed approximately 148 million years ago. These aquatic creatures were typically between 3.5 and 5 meters in length and were distinguished by their distinctive features, including a long, slender neck, a short thorax and tail, and two pairs of fins. Their primary source of sustenance was fish, making them prominent marine carnivores of their time.

    The Owadów-Brzezinki quarry has long been celebrated for its exceptional preservation of Late Jurassic fossils. The site has yielded a treasure trove of marine and terrestrial organisms, encompassing a range of species from ostracods to rare horsetails in the fossil record, as well as insects and various vertebrates such as ray-finned fish, turtles, crocodylomorphs, and ichthyosaurs.

    The most recent addition to this collection is the discovery of four remarkably well-preserved plesiosaur teeth, shedding new light on the prehistoric life that once thrived in this region. These teeth boast distinctive characteristics, including their elongated, conical shape, curvature at a right angle, and visible furrows on the surface. Such features are indicative of plesiosaurs, likely from the family Cryptoclididae, which primarily inhabited the northern European region, particularly England.

    Lukasz Weryński, a PhD student at the Institute of Geological Sciences at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, provided insights into the significance of this discovery. In an interview with Nauk w Polsce, Weryński remarked, “These are exceptionally well-preserved teeth. Their characteristic appearance: their elongated, conical shape, their curvature at the right angle, and the visible furrows on the surface allowed us to assume that they belong to plesiosaurs, probably from the family Cryptoclididae inhabiting mainly the present-day areas of northern Europe, especially England.”

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