Hunter's find leads to discovery of prehistoric sea creature
April 14, 2017
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A fossil found by an elk hunter in Montana nearly seven years ago has led to the discovery of a new species of prehistoric sea creature that lived about 70 million years ago in the inland sea that flowed east of the Rocky Mountains.
The new species of elasmosaur is detailed in an article published Thursday in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Most elasmosaurs, a type of marine reptile, had necks that could stretch 18 feet, but the fossil discovered in the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge is distinct for its much shorter neck — about 7½ feet.