Giant fossil of ichthyosaurusIt is a type of marine reptile that lived during that period Lower Jurassic (about 200 million years ago) was discovered in the Midlands, UK, and is described as one of the greatest discoveries in the history of British paleontology.
Known as the “sea dragon”, ichthyosaurs Extinct About 90 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, the oceans occupied for 160 million years while the dinosaurs occupied the land.
The fossilized remains of this ‘sea dragon’, which the team behind the discovery believe is the UK’s largest ichthyosaur, have been found in Rutland Nature Reserve.
“It is the largest and most complete skeleton of its kind ever discovered in the UK and is also considered the first ichthyosaurus of your kind (Temnodontosaurus Trigonodon) in the country,” he says The team in the statement Announcing the discovery.
The fossil was discovered by Joe Davis, head of one of Rutland’s conservation teams, while he was routinely draining a lake island to re-landscaping in February 2021. The brittle remains of the massive skeleton were carefully excavated in August. and September 2021 by a team of specialized paleontologists.
“I have found skeletons of whales and dolphins on other occasions and [o que estava ali] They were the same, they were like paragraphs. We pursued what looked like a pimple to the floor unchallenged and a colleague discovered something in the future that could be his jawbone. “We can hardly believe it,” Davis says, in the statement.
The ichthyosaur, which is about 180 million years old, with a skeleton about 10 meters long and a skull weighing about a ton, is the largest and most complete fossil of its kind ever found in the United Kingdom. Ichthyosaurs first appeared on Earth about 250 million years ago and became extinct 90 million years ago. It was a group of marine reptiles ranging in length from one to more than 25 meters. In general, they looked like dolphins.
“It was an absolutely amazing discovery and a real achievement in my career. It is wonderful to think that this amazing creature was swimming in the seas above us.”
But anyone who thinks this is the first ichthyosaur ever discovered in the reserve is mistaken. In the 1970s, when the park was built, two more pits were found, although they are incomplete and smaller in size. This is the first complete skeleton to be discovered in the Rutland Nature Reserve.
“The Cradle of Ichthyosaurs”
The Reserves Department is now seeking funding to conserve and preserve the fossils in Rutland, where the legacy can be shared with the public.
“The UK is the birthplace of ichthyosaurs, and their fossils have been discovered here More than 200 years ago. Although many fossils have been found in the country, it is remarkable that Ichthyosaur Rutland is the largest skeleton ever found in the UK. It is truly an unprecedented discovery and one of the greatest in the history of British paleontology, said Dean Lomax, a paleontologist and scientist affiliated with the University of Manchester. Who studied thousands of ichthyosaurs.
Mark Evans, from the University of Leicester, says he immediately realized he was facing the largest fossil of an ichthyosaur ever found, but only after exploratory excavations did they realize the “body” was practically complete, from head to tip of tail.
Rutland’s motto isa lot in a little’, which translates to ‘a lot in a little.’ I think it is fitting that we have found the UK’s largest ichthyosaur skeleton in the smallest county in England.”
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