Ancient polar sea reptile fossil is oldest ever found in Southern Hemisphere

An international team of scientists has identified the oldest fossil of a sea-going reptile from the Southern Hemisphere — a nothosaur vertebra found on New Zealand’s South Island. 246 million years ago, at the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs, New Zealand was located on the southern polar coast of a vast super-ocean called Panthalassa. ‘The nothosaur found in New Zealand is over 40 million years older than the previously oldest known sauropterygian fossils from the Southern Hemisphere.

An international team of scientists has identified the oldest fossil of a sea-going reptile from the Southern Hemisphere — a nothosaur vertebra found on New Zealand’s South Island. 246 million years ago, at the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs, New Zealand was located on the southern polar coast of a vast super-ocean called Panthalassa. ‘The nothosaur found in New Zealand is over 40 million years older than the previously oldest known sauropterygian fossils from the Southern Hemisphere.

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