A newly &to=http://english.pravda.ru/columnists/2003/01/23/42454.html' target=_blank>discovered fossil might be the remains of one of the first stealth hunters, a swimming dinosaur that could use its long neck to sneak up on prey and strike without warning.
Once a resident of a shallow sea in what is now southeastern China, the newly found reptile with fangs would have hunted in murky waters, its small head extending far from the bulky body that fish would have recognized as a predator.
"The long neck would allow it to approach prey without the whole body becoming visible," Olivier Rieppel of the Field Museum in Chicago, a co-author of the report, said in a telephone interview, informs the IndyStar.
According to the National Geographic, with its body obscured by murky waters, an ancient fanged reptile may have used its long neck to lunge at fish and squid. The scenario is based on analysis of a 230-million-year-old fossil discovered in southeastern China.
The ancient reptile had short and broad limbs with relatively few bones in the wrist and ankle joints, an indication that it was more adapted to an aquatic lifestyle than other protorosaurs. (Scientists say living aquatic reptiles may have fewer bones in wrists and ankles than their terrestrial counterparts.)