The length of the fossil is ten meters. This makes it the largest of its kind ever in Britain. The fossil was discovered by an employee at Rutland Water Park, an artificial lake about 150 kilometers north of London. At first, it was assumed that it was a dinosaur fossil. But paleontologists soon concluded that it must have been the remains of an ichthyosaur.
Ichthyosaurs were predators that swam in prehistoric seas as long as 90 million years ago. The specimen found is 180 million years old. At the time, the area we now know as England was a shallow sea. Ichthyosaurs are very similar in appearance to modern dolphins, with the caveat that they were slightly larger than dolphins. The largest specimens can reach a length of at least 25 meters.
Paleontologists excavate the fossil. © Anglian Water via Reuters
Paleontologist Dean Lomax, who has done a lot of research on ichthyosaurs, arrives late in the papers Watchman You know it’s a “unique find”. “This is one of the greatest fossil discoveries in British history.” Ichthyosaurs are excavated in Britain frequently, but no completely intact specimen has ever been found. It took two weeks to excavate the complete fossil.
The manager of Rutland Waterpark is looking for sponsors so that the sea monster can be shown locally to the public.