Nov
12
2005

"With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound..." *

Scientists in Argentina have discovered the fossil skull of an enormous, crocodile-like sea monster. Nicknamed "Godzilla," the creature was 12 to 15 feet long, with an enormous head, serrated teeth, flippers and a fishlike tail. It swam in a deep, tropical bay some 135 million years ago.

This is the first time a complete skull of Dakosaurus andiniensis has been found, It gives scinetists new information on South American dakosaurs evolved differently from their relatives in Europe. It will be featured on the cover of the December issue of National Geographic magazine.

* The opening line to the song Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult. Why, how old did you think I am? ;-)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

Hey man, I am 28 and I recognized the BOC reference. If ever a creature deserved the name Godzilla, this would be it. Kinda scary to think that you could be flying along near the water and get chomped by this thing jumping up out of the water. I know that's only an artist's interpretation, but this create was just so creepy and huge.

posted on Wed, 11/16/2005 - 11:14am
Annoyed's picture
Annoyed says:

How can you tell for sure how old this fossil is? I have heard this fossil story before and THEY said it was about 5 BILLION years old! How old is this fossil acatualy, 135 million or 5 billion years old? E-mail me back a answer!

Annoyed,
13 year old kid

posted on Sun, 11/20/2005 - 3:37pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Given that the Earth itself is only about 4.5 billion years old, there's no way this or any other fossil can be 5 billion years old.

Really old rocks are dated by measuring the ratio of potassium and argon. This site explains the process. Bascially, potassium decays into argon at a very steady, known rate. By measuring the ratio of potassium to argon in a rock sample, scientist can get a very accurate estimate of how old the rock is.

Where does the potassium come from? It is very common in lava. And there were known volcanoes in this area during dinosaur times. So by measuring the age of ancient lava, we can get a very good idea of how old this fossil is.

posted on Sun, 11/20/2005 - 7:43pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Read the National Geographic article.

posted on Mon, 12/12/2005 - 3:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Was it enormous or was it 12-15 feet long?

posted on Wed, 01/04/2006 - 2:42pm
bryan kennedy's picture

Both. Yes, it was 12-15 ft. long but this is still pretty big. That's like two pretty tall adults laying end to end. I wouldn't want to bump into this guy on a day at the lake.

posted on Wed, 01/04/2006 - 2:53pm

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