Uk's most enormous ever prehistoric sea dragon discovered

Photo: Daily Mail

The fossil of the UK's most significant ever sea has been discovered by scientists, calling it one of the "greatest finds" in paleontological history.
The fossil of the ichthyosaur was found in the Midlands, and it's thought to have lived 180 million years ago.

The Skeleton measures 10 meters in length, and the skull weighs one ton, making it the largest and most complete fossil of its kind ever found in the UK.

The first ichthyosaurs, called sea dragons because they tend to have huge teeth and eyes, were discovered by fossil hunter and paleontologist Mary Anning in the early 19th century.

This fossil was found by Joe Davis of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust during a routine draining of a lagoon island at Rutland Water reservoir in February 2021.

During landscaping work at the reserve's reservoir in February 2021, he'd spotted something unusual poking out of the mud.

It turned out to be the fossilized remains of a ten-meter-long sea predator called an ichthyosaur.

Dr. Dean Lomax, a paleontologist who has studied the species, said: "Despite the many ichthyosaurs fossils found in Britain, it is remarkable to think that the Rutland ichthyosaur is a giant Skeleton ever found in the UK.

"It is a genuinely unprecedented discovery and one of the most significant finds in British Paleontological history.

"Usually, we think of ichthyosaurs and other marine reptiles being discovered along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and the Yorkshire Coast, where many of them are exposed by the erosion of the cliffs. Here at an inland location is very unusual," said Dr. Lomax.

Rutland is more than thirty miles away from the coast, but 200 million years ago, a higher sea level meant a shallow ocean covered it.

Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that first appeared 250 million years ago. They were extinct 90 million years ago.

They varied in size, with some more than 25 meters in length, and they resembled dolphins in their general body shape.

Two incomplete and much smaller ichthyosaurs were found during the initial construction of the Rutland Water reservoir in the 1970s. However, the latest discovery is the first complete Skeleton.

Publish : 2022-01-10 19:32:00

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