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Prehistoric Undersea Lizard Fossils Found

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Susan Bowman is an archeologist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. For the past three months, she’s been at the geology lab at CSU, Stanislaus chipping away at a 400-pound block of shale found in Fresno County.

“Right now I’ve got about 28 vertebrae, some ribs, parts of the flipper bones.”

Bowman says the fossils appear to belong to a plesiosaur…an undersea carnivore that sort of resembles the mythic Loch Ness Monster.

“Nessy wasn’t really a plesiosaur but that’s kind of what it looked like. It was a long-necked lizard that had flippers on all four limbs and the neck actually was kind of straight. But they swam in the oceans all the time and they fed on fish mostly.” 

And they lived some 65-Million years ago when ocean waves crashed against the Sierra foothills. The fossils were found in the Panoche Hills in Fresno County. Bowman hopes to go back there soon to see if any more of the creature can be found there.  
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