A man who was walking his dogs ran into a 65 million-year-old skeleton on a UK beach. A series of recent storms uncovered the ancient fossil, and his two dogs sniffed a bone that was coming out of the sand.
Ancient Sea Creature Found In The UK
The man, who is an amateur archeologist, has stated that the fossil may belong to an unknown type of sea creature that is known under the name of ichthyosaurs. They lived during the Jurassic period. After the discovery was made, he decided to alert the authorities who scrambled to check the site.
A researcher from the Natural History Museum has confirmed that the skeleton belongs to an ichthyosaur. The conclusion is based on the number of bones that can be found on the pectoral paddle, the lack of a pelvic girdle, and a distinctive bone shape on the back.
The pristine state of the fossil is remarkable, and the discovery was quite surprising. As soon as he spotted the fossil, the man knew that he was looking as something spectacular. In most cases, fossils that are this old tend to decay due to the harsh environmental conditions in which they are stored.
An Ichthyosaur Was Also Fount In The UK In 2018
Another significant discovery was made in 2018 when the massive jaw of an ancient ichthyosaur was found in the village of Lilstock, Somerset. Further research revealed that it was 235 to 200 million years old. This period is known as the Late Triassic period.
Ichthyosaurs were giant marine reptiles that appeared approximately 250 million years ago. It is thought that at least one species managed to survive until the Late Cretaceous. Many ichthyosaurs looked like modern dolphins. Their jaws were fitted with a series of sharp teeth that could shred small prey into pieces.
At an average size of six to thirteen feet (two to four meters), they moved quite fast. Further research will take place as specialists will try to recover and conserve the fossils as soon as possible.