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Marine reptiles

Besanosaurus - Aquatic Reptile

The name of this prehistoric animal refers to Besano, a small town in the Vareze province of northern Italy where it was first discovered.

Besanosaurus is a primitive ichtyosaur that lived in the middle Triassic period, around 235 million years ago. Its outward appearance was somewhat similar to the dolphin of today. It was 6 m long, and weighed approximately one ton. It had a long and thin snout, adjusted to its aquatic environment, but its skull was thick and broad, extending into a bulky body with no dorsal fin. Its long eel-like tail made Besanosaurus a fairly efficient swimmer, albeit at a moderate speed, with rapid acceleration and good maneuvering. Instead of fore and hind limbs, this aquatic reptile had two pairs of fins to propel it in sea water.

Besanosaurus inhabited a prehistoric sea then located in the basin of today's Adriatic, at the time when the north of what is now the region of Lombardy in northern Italy was at the bottom of today's Mediterranean Sea.

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