90 million year old sea dragon discovered in England

The 10-meter-long fossil was discovered at random from a construction site. Joe Davis, who works at Rutland Water Nature Reserve in England, unexpectedly came across a funny bone in February last year. As the BBC, which reports the case, explains, it is not the remains of a dinosaur, but the almost complete skeleton of a towering marine predator that lived over 90 million years ago: an ichthyosaur, sometimes called a “sea dragon”. It is even the largest ever discovered in England.

“I set my gaze on something that looked like stones, telling myself that something was different, more organic,” he told the BBC. “It was there that we saw something that resembled the bone of a jaw.” After a slight wait, a team of paleontologists was able to go there to see the nature of the bones more closely.

One of the greatest discoveries in the history of British paleontology

They therefore estimate that we are dealing with the skeleton of an ichthyosaur, a creature that can measure up to 25 meters in length and that has lived between 250 and 90 million years before our era. “One of the greatest discoveries in the history of British paleontology,” says one of the experts enthusiastically.

The presence of a marine predator here, several tens of kilometers from the coast, is not surprising. Because, at the time of this ichthyosaur, the surroundings were covered with an ocean. A few weeks after the discovery, the skeleton could be extracted with the greatest care, in particular the skull, a massive and particularly fragile piece. The management of the nature reserve now hopes to be able to raise funds so that the skeleton of the creature can be presented to the surrounding public.

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