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What is Kyhytysuka Sachicarum?

Kyhytysuka Sachicarum:

An international team of researchers has discovered a new marine reptile named Kyhytysuka sachicarum.

  • Kyhytysuka translates to ‘the one that cuts with something sharp’ in an indigenous language from the region in central Colombia where the fossil was found.
  • It has been named so to honour the ancient Muisca culture that existed there for millennia.
  • The fossil is a stunningly preserved meter-long skull, is one of the last surviving ichthyosaurs – ancient animals that look eerily like living swordfish.


  • They are the members of an extinct group of aquatic reptiles, most of which were very similar to porpoises in appearance and habits.
  • They had a very wide geographic distribution, and their fossil remains span almost the entire Mesozoic Era.
  • They are first known from the Triassic Period of Asia, where they began as long-bodied, undulating swimmers without many of the specializations seen in later species.
  • The species comes from an important transitional time during the Early Cretaceous period when the Earth was coming out of a relatively cool period, had rising sea levels, and the supercontinent Pangea ( A supercontinent that incorporated almost all the landmasses on Earth) was splitting into northern and southern landmasses.