Here is a quick paleontology quiz. Which group of animals included large, air-breathing predators up to 50 feet long that bore live young, dominated their world for more than 100 million years and were ultimately exterminated by an asteroid 65 million years ago?
Did you say dinosaurs? Sorry, wrong answer. But it was a trickier question than it may have appeared.
The correct answer is marine reptiles, which at the time of the last great extinction included mosasaurs, plesiosaurs and pliosaurs. The key clue in my question was “bore live young.” Unlike the dinosaurs, which were terrestrial and laid eggs, marine reptiles were fully aquatic and bore live young. This latter combination was no coincidence.
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