Marine Reptiles the Size of Whales Once Roamed the Seas

In Earth’s history, there have been iterations of giant species that have come and gone. The ichthyosaurus was a sea-dwelling reptile that achieved giant size. Archeological finds are providing paleontologists with resources to investigate what caused these reptiles to reach such leviathan sizes.

Marine Reptiles the Size of Whales Once Roamed the SeasIchthyosaurus Remains in Different Parts of the World

205 million-year-old partial remains of a whale-sized ichthyosaurus were found in the Swiss Alps, according to what was published this year in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. However, this giant reptile wasn’t alone. Over the past 20 years, fossil sights from England, British Columbia, and Nevada have also unearthed giant ichthyosaurs. As some of the Earth’s first giants, these shark-shaped saurians ruled the seas for a while.

ichthyosaurus depiction What’s Known of the Giant Reptiles, So Far

Thus far, paleontologists have determined that the earliest ichthyosaurus evolved around 249 million years ago, in the early Triassic Period, at which point they were around six feet long. At this time, the Earth was recovering from a mass extinction event, and new subspecies were forming from the surviving creatures. The ichthyosaurs had land-dwelling ancestors but promptly adapted to life in the water, growing very big very fast. Paleontologists took into account Cymbospondylus Youngorum which was dated back to 244 million years ago and was likely over 50 feet long. This means that the ichthyosaurus took around five million years to become giant sea-dwelling reptiles.

What Caused This Species to Achieve Its Giant Size

The giant ichthyosaurus were apex predator reptiles. With a mouth full of sharp teeth, they were capable of feeding on marine pray of various sizes. University of Manchester paleontologist Dean Lomax speculates that the reason why this species managed to grow so large, in the ocean, is that no other species had done it yet. With 95% of sea-dwelling creatures now extinct, there were endless possibilities for new species to evolve. The greater size and muscle mass meant increased swimming speed, which was a great advantage.

Researchers Create Fabric That Can Hear Sounds

It has been established that technology and innovation crossed the threshold from surprising to mind-boggling a long time ago. From 3D printers to virtual reality gaming, every year humans create something that proves that the future is here. Joining the list is something new: a fabric you can hear through! Read on to know more about this ingenious innovation.

The Design

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Rhode Island of Designs have worked together to create a sound-hearing fabric. The garment is created by weaving the fabric with piezoelectric fiber, which when exposed to sound waves, creates electric signals. To test the fabric’s workability, the team clapped at different angles from the garment to see how well it can detect the sound. According to MIT researcher Grace Noel, the fabric was able to detect sound to an angle of within one degree from a distance of up to 3 meters. The fabric can also be machine washed, so it is ingenious and handy.

The Future Implications

According to the scientists, this invention could have long-reaching and varied future possibilities. The fabric, which can pick up noises like birds chirping, human speech, and something as slight as the leaves rustling has a sound performance that is at par with commercial microphones. The researchers also tested whether it could act as a stethoscope, by sewing a single fiber into a shirt’s inner lining. This could lead to the fabric being used in materiality clothes as a way to monitor a baby’s heartbeat. The cloth could also help people who have trouble hearing as it can amplify sounds and it could also be used to detect building cracks and monitor fish by being woven in a net. In the future, the researchers also plan to expand into information storage and signal processing using the fabric.