04/22/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

UKansas Prof Reconstructs Ancient Fish

Larry Martin refers to the fish as a "gentle giant in a sea of monsters." Although the 18-foot-long fish is mere bones today, more than 100 million years ago, in the age of the dinosaurs, it journeyed through the ancient seas that once covered the Kansas plains.

After thoroughly studying prehistoric fossils of the animal, Larry Martin, senior curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University's Natural History Museum, and an international team of researchers identified the fossil as a giant plankton-eating bony fish -- a lineage of fish that had evidently been missing from the Mesozoic realm of the seas until now.

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