Scientists in UK have discovered the largest ichthyosaur skeleton fossil, which is approximately 180 million years old and measures around 10 metres in length (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/
Scientists have hailed the discovery of an ichthyosaur skeleton, which is approximately 180 million years old and measures around 10 metres in length with a skull weighing one tonne, as the largest and most complete fossil of its kind ever found in the UK.
Comparable to a dolphin in appearance with larger teeth and eyes, the fossil was discovered by Joe Davis, leader of a conservation team and Rutland Wildlife Trust at Rutland Water, during the routine draining of the lagoon for relandscaping in February 2021.
"The find has been absolutely fascinating and a real career highlight. It's great to learn so much from the discovery and to think this amazing creature was once swimming in seas above us,” Davis told BBC.
Called sea dragons because of their large teeth and eyes, the first ichthyosaurs, was discovered by fossil hunter and palaeontologist Mary Anning in the early 19th Century.
Dr Dean Lomax, a palaeontologist who studied the species, told BBC that "Despite the many ichthyosaur fossils found in Britain, it is remarkable to think that the Rutland ichthyosaur is the largest skeleton ever found in the UK. It is a truly unprecedented discovery and one of the greatest finds in palaeontological history."