JURASSIC OCEANS

New 2017- Jurassic Oceans

Travel back in time and discover a great variety of sharks, our living descendants of the Jurassic era. Walk beneath the skeleton of a Plesiosaur and learn about the first Jurassic fossil found in Spain.

Do not miss our Archaeological Excavation activities !. With these activities we will make a journey in Time. We will discover the paleontological remains. If we follow these instructions everything will go well.

We will get a lot of information about the animals that have been buried down there for millions of years!

 

The Plesiosaur in Spain

Plesiosaurs are an extinct marine reptile that appeared early in the Jurassic period (and possibly late Triassic), and lasted until the end of the Cretaceous, in total almost 150 million years. Its name comes from the Greek plesios ("near") and sauros ("lizard or reptile").

 

It fed on belemnites (similar to squid), ammonites, fish and other prey. They had a strong jaw with sharp teeth, which served as real fish traps, and that easily crushed the hard shells of their prey. Likewise, plesiosaurs were prey to other carnivores. Marks of a shark on the fossil fin of a plesiosaur, and the remains of this marine reptile in the stomach of a mosasaur have been found.

 

Vertebrae and teeth from a Plesiosaur have been found which may belong to a specimen measuring 22 meters long and perhaps weighing 20 tons.

 

The Plesiosaur in Spain

 

The scientific team of the Jurassic Museum of Asturias dated a vertebra, found in Villaviciosa in 2003, as the oldest plesiosaur fossil of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a pectoral bone of a plesiosaur.

 

Probably the first remains of plesiosaur discovered in Spain, coming from Asturias, were mentioned by Schulz in 1858. These findings, part of the skeleton and fins of a plesiosaur, are currently missing.

Horseshoe Crab

They are considered living fossils since they have evolved very little in their more than 475 million years of existence; Appear for the first time in the fossil record in the lower Ordovician, at the same time as the Nautilus appear.

Nautilus, is a  cephalopod molluscs from which today survive three species. Being very curious because most cephalopods do not have an outer shell as well developed as we see in squid, cuttlefish and octopus.

Sharks have inhabited our oceans for more than 400 million years and have survived five mass extinctions, demonstrating a perfect fit for their environment. Without sharks, marine ecosystems face an uncertain future, so it is vital to safeguard the future of these species.

Horseshoe Crab

They are considered living fossils since they have evolved very little in their more than 475 million years of existence; Appear for the first time in the fossil record in the lower Ordovician, at the same time as the Nautilus appear.

Horseshoe Crab

They are considered living fossils since they have evolved very little in their more than 475 million years of existence; Appear for the first time in the fossil record in the lower Ordovician, at the same time as the Nautilus appear.

Nautilus, is a  cephalopod molluscs from which today survive three species. Being very curious because most cephalopods do not have an outer shell as well developed as we see in squid, cuttlefish and octopus.

Nautilus, is a  cephalopod molluscs from which today survive three species. Being very curious because most cephalopods do not have an outer shell as well developed as we see in squid, cuttlefish and octopus.

Sharks have inhabited our oceans for more than 400 million years and have survived five mass extinctions, demonstrating a perfect fit for their environment. Without sharks, marine ecosystems face an uncertain future, so it is vital to safeguard the future of these species.

Sharks have inhabited our oceans for more than 400 million years and have survived five mass extinctions, demonstrating a perfect fit for their environment. Without sharks, marine ecosystems face an uncertain future, so it is vital to safeguard the future of these species.

Megalodon

Almost 20 million years ago, he was the absolute king of the oceans. It was the biggest predator that the planet has known, and with a single bite, it could split a whale in half. We are talking about Carcharodon megalodon, a monstrous shark that is distantly related to the present white shark. Megalodon means "big tooth", and its’ teeth are the only thing remaining from this terror of the seas. Due to its cartilaginous skeleton, there are no fossil remains.

Palaeontologists of the 19th century soon found an incredible similarity between the teeth of the megalodon and those of the white shark. Despite the difference in the size of their teeth, which are four times smaller, it serves as a reference for estimating the size of an adult megalodon, which could measure between 16 and 20 metres. Imagine a shark the size of a bus, with jaws full of serrated teeth!

Perhaps it was his jaw that was the most characteristic feature of this animal, and what made him the absolute master of the oceans. It could bite with a force five times greater than that of a T. Rex, ten times greater than that of a white shark and two thousand times greater than that of an adult. When it attacked, it projected out its’ jaw measuring two meters in diameter, showing its’ 276 teeth!

2.6 million years ago, the megalodon disappeared forever from the oceans. What happened?

He liked the warm waters, and at that time (the Pliocene), there was a strong glaciation that turned many of the seas into ice, making him retreat ever more towards the tropics. At the same time their main foodsource, the whales, changed their migratory patterns approaching the polar zones. The megalodon’s habitat was reduced, and in addition, there was little food which had to be shared with other predators. The megalodon became an animal too large to exist.

After disappearing, it is today a close relative who assumes the title of king of the seas: Carcharodon carcharias, the great white shark.

Evolutionarily speaking we could say that megalodon was an older brother of the white shark. The two species came to coexist in the oceans, we presume not too peacefully, for 13 million years.

So we will never see a megalodon swimming in the sea. But we can still enjoy the majesty of the great white shark, so long as we continue to protect them. Although not an endangered species, it is considered a threatened and vulnerable species.