Remarkably Well-Preserved Giant Pliosaur Skull Discovered on English Beach
A stunning discovery has been made on a beach in southern England as the remarkably well-preserved skull of a gigantic pliosaur was unearthed. Believed to be about 150 million years old, this find is almost 3 million years younger than any other pliosaur specimen ever found, capturing the attention of researchers worldwide.
Excitement grows as scientists analyze the fossil to determine if it could potentially be a new species. This groundbreaking discovery is set to be featured in the highly anticipated BBC documentary “Attenborough and the Jurassic Sea Monster,” presented by the legendary Sir David Attenborough.
The fossil itself is an impressive sight, with its skull measuring nearly 6.6 feet in length and weighing over half a metric ton in its fossilized form. Pliosaurs, the family of marine reptiles to which this creature belonged, could grow up to an astonishing 50 feet in length.
However, extracting the fossil from the cliff where it was found proved to be a perilous task. Paleontologist Steve Etches and his team carefully navigated the challenging terrain to rescue the precious skull. Etches initially stumbled upon the pliosaur’s snout after his friend notified him of the remarkable find on the beach. Drones were utilized to map the cliff and identify the rest of the pliosaur’s remains.
The extraction operation spanned three weeks, with the fossil being successfully removed just in time before the onset of summer storms. Etches undertook the delicate task of restoring the skull, painstakingly assembling the fractured bones like a jigsaw puzzle.
The extraordinary preservation of this fossil is attributed to the immediate sedimentation that occurred after the pliosaur’s death. As a top predator of its time, this ancient sea monster possessed twice the biting power of a saltwater crocodile. Researchers believe it would have been a formidable predator, effectively preying on any creature that entered its space.
The discovery of this exceptionally well-preserved pliosaur skull opens a window into the prehistoric world and sheds new light on these fascinating creatures. With ongoing research and examination, scientists are hopeful that this find will provide groundbreaking insights into the ancient seas and the evolution of marine life.
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