Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

A paleontologist poses next to an Ichthyosaur skeleton found in Rutland Water.

A saileontologist pose along iSkeletons of chthyosour have been found in Rutland Water.
Pictures: Matthew Power Photography

Regular excavation and maintenance of a lagoon has resulted in the discovery of the largest and most complete ichthyosaur skeleton found in Britain. Excitingly, it is the first species of its kind discovered in the country.

Joe Davis, coSave tIt lEder of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust discovered the fossil in January 2021, according to a Press release From tHe is from the University of Manchester. He found it inside the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, which is owned and operated by Anglian Water. This location is unfortunate in Landlocked Rutland, as most of i’s discoveriesIn England chthyosaurs tend to be along the coast Or the results of excavation and construction of new roads.

“In the world of British paleontology, the discovery is a complete discovery Tyrannosaurus rex In the Badlands of America, only this Jurassic monster was found in a nature reserve in Rutland, all over the place!Dean Lomax, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester and leader of the expedition, said in a press release. “This is truly an unprecedented discovery and one of the best discoveries in British paleontological history.”

In fact, at 32 feet (10 m) in length, it is the largest IChthyosour was found in Britain. W.It is a fossil of bones from tip to tail, and is one of the most complete ichthyosaur fossils in the country. Species of, Temnodontosaurus trigonodon, The first of its kind discovered in Britain, extending its known geographical range

The ichthyosaurs are marine reptiles (not dinosaurs) that first appeared 250 million years ago, but disappeared after a very successful 160.Million-Year run this varied cA classic example of dolphin-like reatures Withvergent evolution-And Measures anywhere from 3 to 82 feet (1 to 25 meters) tall. Scientists in England iChthyosaur bones for the last 200 years, which was as the region Under water In the Jurassic period, Where the animal was First appeared.

Impressions of an ichthyosour artist.

The impression of the artist is an ichthyosour
Pictures: University of Manchester

Jurassic clay where samples from 181.5 million to 182 million years old have been found. The The skull measures 6.5 feet (2 m) long and weighs more than a Hundreds of squid-like creatures, gastropods, shellfish, and other vertebrate evidence have been found in tons of excavations.chthyosaurs.

Specialists and volunteers, including teams from the Horniman Museum, the University of Birmingham and the Peterborough Geological and Paleontological Group, have joined in to assist in the excavation and analysis. The excavation of the specimen took place from August to September 2021, during which thousands of photographs were taken and a photogrammetric analysis was performed to create a 3D model of the i.chthyosour in its resting position.

Fossils are standing next to the Ichthyosaur fossil.

The paleontologists stood bychthyosour fossils
Pictures: Anglian water

The bones from the giantThe chthyosours are wrapped in a protective plaster cast and transferred to a safe place. There, scientists will remove the plaster, clean the bones and prepare samples for a more thorough analysis, a process that is expected to take 18 months. That is, the team is supposed to secure the necessary cash. Anglian Water is currently seeking funding to preserve the remains And “also ensuring that it can remain in Rutland where its legacy can be shared with the general public,” according to the press release.

Excitingly, the excavation of the Rutland Sea Dragon, as it is known, was filmed for the BBC series. Excavation for Britain And will appear in an episode aired on January 11

More: Incredible fossils show a sea monster in the belly of an even bigger sea monster.

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