The exceptionally well-preservedskull of huge sea monster pliosaur found on Englandbeach in the county of Dorset, and it may hold the key to uncovering mysteries concerning these magnificent creatures.
A time when dinosaurs ruled the land was when pliosaurs ruled the oceans. The fossil was discovered approximately 150 million years ago, which is nearly 3 million years earlier than any other pliosaur discovery. Scholars are conducting an analysis of the specimen in order to ascertain whether or not it represents an undiscovered species.
The pliosaur's skull, an immense extinct marine creature, was unearthed from cliffs along the southern Jurassic Coast of the United Kingdom. Plieosaurs were marine reptiles that inhabited the Earth approximately 150 million years ago. Their length was between 10 and 12 yards.
Psilocysaurs utilized the 130 ridged, razor-sharp teeth in the fossilized cranium to repeatedly pierce the flesh of their prey during an attack. Dr. Andre Rowe of Bristol University told BBC News:
The animal would have been so massive that I think it would have been able to prey effectively on anything that was unfortunate enough to be in its space. I have no doubt that this was sort of like an underwater T. rex.- Dr. Andre Rowe
The fossil, its intricate excavation, and the ongoing scientific inquiry, are all elaborated upon in the forthcoming BBC documentary "Attenborough and the Jurassic Sea Monster," which will air on PBS on February 14. The documentary is hosted by the legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
In addition to other passing pliosaurs, other reptiles would have been among its prey.
Local fossil enthusiast Steve Etches discovered the fossil while strolling near the cliffs; he specifically noticed the apex of the snout. Intrigued as to the location of the remaining fossil, he employed a drone to make an educated estimate that it was affixed to the face of a cliff. Determining its location further required an abseil from the summit.
The fossil, according to scientists, is among the most complete dinosaur remains ever discovered and will aid in the dissemination of new knowledge regarding the animals' lifestyles.
Discarded from a cliff along Dorset's "Jurassic Coast," the cranium of the carnivorous marine reptile measured nearly 2 meters (6.6 feet) in length due to its enormous size. The specimen in its fossilized state has a mass exceeding half a metric ton. Pliosaur species were capable of attaining a maximum length of 15 meters (50 feet), as documented in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The fossil was entombed 11 meters (36 feet) above the ground and 15 meters (49 feet) down the escarpment, according to local paleontologist Steve Etches, who assisted in its discovery.
A crew raced against the clock during a window of favorable weather to extract the fossil before summer storms closed in and the cliff eroded, potentially resulting in the loss of the rare and significant fossil. This proved to be an extremely perilous endeavor, fraught with danger.
Etches was initially notified of the existence of the fossil when his acquaintance Philip Jacobs contacted him subsequent to discovering the pliosaur's snout on the shore. From the very beginning, they were "extremely excited."
It was very exciting but, thinking logistically, not a good place to collect a fossil from. The cliffs are sheer, crumbling and unsafe, eroding quickly. It’s a very dangerous area - with large rockfalls and slippery ledges - so safety was paramount.- Steve Etches
Etches stated that he was able to locate the location of the fossil approximately 36 feet above the shoreline using a drone. After descending to it from the cliff's summit, he and others proceeded with the extraction of the cranium in its entirety.
A 6-foot-long skull of a 150 million-year-old killer marine creature was discovered chiseled from a cliff along the Jurassic Coast of southern England, in what scientists refer to as a "one-of-a-kind find." Etches' acquaintance and fellow fossil enthusiast Phil Jacobs fortuitously encountered the monstrous skull while strolling along the shoreline beneath the cliff.
The shoreline is situated along the UNESCO World Heritage Site-designated Jurassic Coast, an area renowned for its remarkable fossils, rocks, and landforms discovered throughout its 95-mile length.