During the age when dinosaurs ruled the land, gigantic, carnivorous lizards called Pannoniasaurus inexpectatus may have dominated ancient rivers. Described as a sea monster, this reptilian predator belonging to the mosasaur family, is being compared to fresh water dolphins, currently found in the Amazon, Gangesand and Yangtze.
When discoveries like this are made, one can't help but wonder how many animals may have existed in another form millions of years ago. It is awe-inspiring to imagine super-sized versions of various birds, crocodiles, turtles, etc.
Scientists have recently published the findings of a new study investigating this aquatic beast which is the "largest known predator in the waters of this paleo-environment". According to Live Science, this species was originally discovered when scientists unearthed mosasaur fossils in an open-pit mine in the Bakony Hills of Western Hungary. Researchers uncovered "several 84-million-year-old specimens, ranging from small juveniles to adults 20 feet (6 meters) long that had limbs like a land-dwelling lizard, a flattened, crocodilelike scull, and a tail unlike other known members of the mosasaur family."
Sometime between 100 million and 85 million years ago "some primitive members of the already-marine mosasaur adapted to freshwater life," similar to how dolphins and whales evolved.
Researchers hope to learn more about the creature, such as how it moved and what it ate, as reported by Yahoo News.
Who knows how much scientists can learn from examining fossils like these. As much as humankind has discovered about evolution, there is still so much more to learn.