Loch Ness-Like Reptile Found Down Under
USA Today Staff Writers
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Australian scientists have identified two new species of ancient marine reptile, similar to the mythical Loch Ness monster, that swam in an Australian outback sea 115 million years ago. The reptiles, Umoonasaurus and Opallionectes, belonged to the pleisiosaurs grop that included a "killer whale" type predator of the Jurassic period, paleontologist Benjamin Kear of the University of Adelaide said on Wednesday. Kear, whose team studied 30 opalised fossils, said the long necked marine reptiles swam in the shallow water of an inland sea that once existed in central Australia. Freezing polar water covered large parts of Australia 115 million years ago, when the continent was much closer to Antarctica. The Loch Ness monster, sometimes called Nessie, is said to be an unidentified animal that lives in Loch Ness, a large freshwater lake in Scotland. Most scientists say the story is a hoax.