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Researchers use fossils to determine ancient marine reptile's eating technique

: [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In this report, we mistakenly referred to skeletons of reptiles from nearly a quarter million years ago. If fact, the skeletons were from nearly a quarter billion years ago.]

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. In China, researchers have unearthed complete skeletons of undersea reptiles from nearly a quarter million years ago. Picture a creature shaped like a whale, but just three feet long, with a dolphin's long, narrow snout, no teeth and a jaw that it could sort of unhinge while feeding. All the better to scoop up lots of smaller creatures in a single gulp while filtering out the water. Kind of lends a new meaning to the phrase, all you can eat. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.