Gigantic 180 million year old ‘Sea Dragon’ fossil found in British reservoir

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Researchers in the UK have found a whopping 180 million year old fossilized remains of an ichthyosaur known colloquially as the “sea dragon”. The researchers describe it as one of the most significant discoveries in the region as the fossil is the largest and most complete skeleton of its kind found in the UK. Ichthyosaurs resembled dolphins in body shape and became extinct about 90 million years ago after first appearing 250 million years ago.

The skeleton was discovered in a reservoir in Rutland County and measures nearly 10 meters in length. Joe Davis, a conservation team leader from Leicestershire and the Rutland Wildlife Trust, who operates the reserve in partnership with owner Anglian Water, found the specimen during some remodeling work that drained the water in the lagoon. He first discovered parts of eddies in the mud. What followed was a large-scale excavation in August and September, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust said in a statement.

Davis noted that the find was a “career highlight” for him, adding that it felt like even thinking about the creature once swimming in the seas.

A CNN report quoted Dean Lomax, an ichthyosaur expert and current visiting scholar at the University of Manchester, as saying, “The size and completeness together make it really extraordinary.” Lomax added that the previous ichthyosaur finds in the UK “Nowhere near as complete and as big as here”.

Lomax said that this discovery was just the “tip of the iceberg,” Lomax said that there was much more to learn about the ichthyosaur by removing rocks, including the possibility that the reptile’s last meal was preserved or that Reptile was pregnant.

Paul Barrett, merit researcher in the Earth Sciences Vertebrates and Anthropology Paleobiology division at the Natural History Museum in London, told CNN that this was “one of the most impressive marine fossil discoveries from Britain that I can remember in at least the past 20 to 20 years “. 30 years or so. “

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