Ever heard of ‘Devil’s Toenails’, a Silurian Shrimp or a Dinosaur Death Match? The word ‘fossil’ usually has an image of a dinosaur spring up in our mind but the truth is there have been some stunning fossil discoveries by paleontologists over time that go beyond dinos.

WHAT ARE FOSSILS?

Fossils are the remains of decayed plants or animals that have been preserved for 10,000 years. Body fossils are the distinct remains of plants and animal species like a dinosaur egg or the bones, claws, teeth, skin or embryos of deceased species. Trace fossils are the remains of an animal’s activity like footprints, burrows, borings and preserved tracks. Scientists use tests like radiometric dating to find out the age of fossils and the rocks near these preserved species. It’s fascinating to know about the some of the most amazing fossils ever uncovered by mankind.

AMAZING FOSSILS EVER TO BE DISCOVERED

Fish Captured A Large Predator

Researchers discovered the fossils of a pterosaur feasting on small fish that was apparently caught by a larger fish near Solnhofen, Germany. Discovered in 2009, the fossil is part of the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in US. According to explanations, the predator pterosaur caught a tiny fish in the tropical lagoon and as it was about to feast on it, a larger fish known as Aspidorhynchus, almost

60cm in length jumped up to the surface, snatching the predator in mid-air using its narrow jaws. The predator was about to fly away when the big fish caught it by its left wing. What’s surprising is that the fish did not have sharp pointed teeth built to catch large prey but the fossils suggest the teeth were buried deep into the fibers of the pterosaur’s wing membranes.

SPIDERS CAUGHT SCARING

Prehistoric animals and their environments are definitely fascinating like this orb-weaver spider web that was created a million years ago. Researchers opine that the web was used by a large spider for terrifying wasps and luring them in. The millions of silky fibers from the spider web still remain as stiff as the time they were built. The fossil shows a wasp trying to take away some spider eggs from the abode when it was caught by the giant spider.

A MYSTERIOUS MONSTER

In the 1950’s, Francis Tully discovered the fossils of a mysterious species in the Mazon creek located in Illinois, USA. The animal had a soft-textured body with an opaque appearance and was named Tullimonstrum gregarium. Scientists are trying to find out more about this enigmatic body fossil of the animal only a few inches in length bearing a long snout with sharp teeth and a segmented body. This animal, now

an Illinois state fossil, belonged to an extinct genus that had a full jaw with 8 small teeth and maneuverable fins with a body that resembled that of a squid. Study of the rocks near its habitat suggest that the monster resided in shallow waters where it feasted on shrimp and jellyfish using its pointed teeth.

DINOSAUR DEATH MATCH

The Dinosaur Death Match is a trace fossil discovered in 1971 by scientists near Gobi Desert, Magnolia. The striking find depicts a battle between two mighty predators, Velociraptor and Protoceratops that seem to have been embroiled in a fierce face-off 74 million years ago. The fossil has the Velociraptor’s sharp foot claw firmly sunk in the neck of the Protoceratops, a boar-like creature. Scientists believe the former attacked the herbivorous boar-like animal

dealing a devastating blow to the carotid artery. The splendid exhibit is part of the Mongolian Dinosaur Museum in Ulan Bator that provides informative knowledge gathered from the study of fighting dinosaurs. According to paleontologists, a sandstorm may have covered the bodies of the two warring beasts or a landslide may have buried them as they were locked in battle.

DINOSAUR DEATH MATCH

The Dinosaur Death Match is a trace fossil discovered in 1971 by scientists near Gobi Desert, Magnolia. The striking find depicts a battle between two mighty predators, Velociraptor and Protoceratops that seem to have been embroiled in a fierce face-off 74 million years ago. The fossil has the Velociraptor’s sharp foot claw firmly sunk in the neck of the Protoceratops, a boar-like creature. Scientists believe the former attacked the herbivorous boar-like animal dealing a devastating blow to the carotid artery. The splendid exhibit is part of the Mongolian Dinosaur Museum in Ulan Bator that provides informative knowledge gathered from the study of fighting dinosaurs. According to paleontologists, a sandstorm may have covered the bodies of the two warring beasts or a landslide may have buried them as they were locked in battle.

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