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恐龙时期主宰海洋的早期鳄鱼(三)

2005-11-19 00:00

Based on the size of the skull, Mr. Pol and his colleagues from the National University of La Plata, Argentina estimate that the creature was four meters long. They infer its body shape based on a computer program that analyzed the fossils and found that they most resemble the early crocodile branch that had flippers and a fish-like tail instead of four feet and a tail like modern crocodiles.

根据头骨的大小,波尔和其他来自阿根廷国立拉普拉塔大学的同事估计这个生物有四米长,他们是根据计算机程序来推断出它的身体形状,并且通过化石分析发现,他们极其类似早期的拥有鳍和像鱼一样的尾巴的鳄鱼分支,不像现代鳄鱼那样有四只脚和尾巴。

"This analysis revealed that the anatomical changes along the evolution of the Dakosaurus lineage were clearly the most drastic evolutionary change in the history of marine crocodiles. This places the 135-million-year-old Dakosaurus andiniensis not only as one of the most recent members of this family, but also as the most bizarre marine crocodile known today," he explained.

这一分析显示,在达科龙分支进化解剖学上的变化,无疑是海洋类鳄鱼进化史上最剧烈的进化演变。这些有一亿三千五百万年历史的达科龙不仅是鳄鱼家族的最新成员之一,而且也是今天所知的最奇异的海洋鳄鱼。

The National Geographic Society in Washington, which sponsored the research, says dakosaurs were only one of the monsters that cavorted in the world's oceans between 250 million and 65 million years ago. Back then shallow seas and a lack of significant marine predators created new opportunities for many reptiles that had first developed on land. They included such beasts as giant ichthyosaurs that might have reached 25 meters in length and plesiosaurs with seven-meter-long necks reminiscent of the fabled Loch Ness monster in Scotland.

赞助这一研究的美国华盛顿国家地理协会表示,达科龙是两亿五千万年前到六千五百万年前活跃在地球海洋世界的怪物之一。而在当时的浅海区,由于没有大型的海洋食肉动物,这给许多爬虫类动物创造了新的机会,使他们第一次登上陆地。这些动物包括有着25米长庞大身躯的鱼龙和让人想起苏格兰尼斯湖怪兽故事的有着七米长脖子的蛇颈龙。

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