The Oldest Fossil Sea Dragon Found in Britain is 180 Million Years Old


In particular, Jurassic clay from the East Midlands recently revealed well-preserved bones of real sea dragons. Nevertheless, this is the largest and most complete ichthyosaur fossil ever found in the United Kingdom.

Giant 180 million-year-old 'sea dragon' fossil found in UK reservoir
Image Courtesy: Youtube/Anglian Water

It was discovered in February 2021 by Joe Davis, a conservation team leader in Leicestershire and the Rutland Wildlife Trust, while draining the lagoon island of the Rutland Water Nature Reserve. Small bones were recently discovered by paleontologists.

Ichthyosaur fossils are the most important and fully discovered in the UK. When lifted for preservation and research, the 6-foot (2 m) skull and surrounding mud weighed 1 ton.

 Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of "the biggest and most complete" ichthyosaur, also known as a sea dragon, in U.K.
Image Courtesy: Youtube/Anglian Water

Dr. Dean Lomax, a paleontologist who conducted an archaeological survey of the Rutland Sea Dragon, said:

“It was an honor to dig this Jurassic colossal statue out of a stone tomb.” The first ichthyosaur fossil was discovered in England over 200 years ago by Mary Anning along the Jurassic Coast. And it’s not just the largest ichthyosaur skeleton ever found in Britain. Contains dinosaurs! “

The 10-metre long sea dragon is the largest and most complete fossil of its kind ever found in the UK.
Image Courtesy: Youtube/Anglian Water

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” Lomax added. “This discovery is comparable to discovering the entire Tyrannosaurus Rex in Badlands, USA. Only this Jurassic monster was unearthed in a nature reserve in Rutland!”

The excavation and collection of fossils required more than 14 days of effort and a great deal of expertise. Researchers needed to document the fossils carefully before using photogrammetry to create a 3D reconstruction.

British scientist Mary Anning discovered the ichthyosaur in the early 19th century. Similarly, they lived in the sea from 250 to 90 million years ago. In particular, Jurassic clay samples from newly discovered fossils place animals from 181.5 million to 182 million years old.

Some ichthyosaur species lived in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous, but paleontologists cannot classify them as dinosaurs. This unique species evolved from terrestrial reptiles that withdrew into the sea. Convergent evolution occurs when different species acquire similar functions to adapt to similar challenges.

the Rutland Ichthyosaur, or the Rutland Sea Dragon, is the biggest complete ichthyosaur ever found in Britain in over 200
Image Courtesy: Youtube/Anglian Water

Dr. Mark Evans, a marine reptile expert, said:

It is a treasure of the country and the world and is essential for the people of Rutland and its surroundings. If the ichthyosaur is correctly identified as Temnodontosaurus trigonodon, the ichthyosaur will provide new information on the geographical distribution of the species. “

Image Courtesy: Youtube/Anglian Water


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