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Howdy, partner: A model of a lizard that lived 92 million years ago.
Howdy, partner: A model of a lizard that lived 92 million years ago. (By L.m. Otero -- Associated Press)
Friday, November 18, 2005

A Prehistoric Discovery That's as Big as Texas

The "T. rex of the ocean" called Dallas, Texas, home.

That's the finding of paleontologists who just finished studying fossils of a lizard that lived 92 million years ago.

The lizard fossil, which was discovered 16 years ago at a Texas construction site, was of a mosasaur, a creature with fin-like limbs that lived in the age of dinosaurs. Before this discovery, scientists had found only five forms of these animals, which lived in the ocean but could make their way onto land. None of those was found in North America.

The reptile, now known as Dallasaurus turneri , would have lived in water that then covered the current cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. While it was a vicious predator like the Tyrannosaurus rex, it was much smaller -- only about three feet long. It looked a little like the Komodo dragon, which is its closest living relative, scientists say.


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