EXPERTS have claimed the Loch Ness Monster’s existence is “plausible” after publishing new shock research into fossils.
Plesiosaur, which were thought to be sea creatures, may have actually lived in freshwater, scientists say.
Believers of mythical Nessie have long thought the creature is also a plesiosaur.
Plesiosaurs were a type of reptile that went extinct about 65.5 million years ago.
They had small heads and a long neck, much like the infamous Loch Ness Monster.
Until now, the idea that Nessie could be a plesiosaur was thrown out because it would need saltwater which it wouldn’t be able to get from the freshwater in Loch Ness, the Scottish Highlands.
But this latest discovery in an ancient river system in Morocco’s Sahara Desert makes it “plausible”.
Bones and teeth from three-metre long adults were among the fossils unearthed.
Scientists also found an arm bone that belonged to a 1.5 metre long baby.
The remains hint that the animal not only lived in freshwater but fed in the area too, alongside other creatures like frogs, crocodiles, turtles, fish, and the huge aquatic dinosaur Spinosaurus.
“It’s scrappy stuff, but isolated bones actually tell us a lot about ancient ecosystems and animals in them,” explained Dr Nick Longrich, from the University of Bath.
“They’re so much more common than skeletons, they give you more information to work with.
“The bones and teeth were found scattered and in different localities, not as a skeleton.
“So each bone and each tooth is a different animal.
“We have over a dozen animals in this collection.”
He added: “We don’t really know why the plesiosaurs are in freshwater.
“It’s a bit controversial, but who’s to say that because we paleontologists have always called them ‘marine reptiles’, they had to live in the sea? Lots of marine lineages invaded freshwater.”
The research was published in the Cretaceous Research journal.
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