One of the “best” fossil discoveries-Action News Now

The 180 million-year-old ichthyosaur fossil discovered in the UK last year is called “one of the greatest discoveries in the history of British paleontology”


British paleontologists discovered the fossil of a giant prehistoric “sea dragon” called ichthyosaur. This 32-foot (9.8 m) skeleton is believed to be the largest and most complete set of fossils found in the country.

The specimen was found at the bottom of the reservoir last year and is described as “A truly unprecedented discovery” and “One of the greatest discoveries in the history of British paleontology.” The six-foot-plus skull of this animal alone weighs a ton.


Ichthyosaurs, often called “sea dragons” because of their huge teeth and eyes, first appeared about 250 million years ago, swimming in the ocean during the dinosaur era, and then extinct about 90 million years ago. This particular animal lived about 180 million years ago.

Although often mistakenly classified as swimming dinosaurs, these carnivorous marine reptiles are thought to have evolved from unknown terrestrial reptiles long before the first dinosaurs appeared. The size is generally similar to a dolphin, and the largest ichthyosaur species can grow to more than 65 feet.


The specimen is believed to belong to a species called Tempnodontosaurus trigonodon, but testing will reveal whether it may be a member of an as yet undiscovered branch. It was discovered during the landscape project in February 2021. In September, a lagoon on the Lateran Reservoir was drained and dug out.

“When the paleontologist and our team found the complete skeleton and lifted it up with a tractor with a loader, the head was as big as me, I was six feet tall. This is a huge beast,” Joe Davis’ team found the specimen, he told the Daily Mail.

Davis is an environmentalist for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. He said that the team initially “Thinking that the ridge we saw at the muddy bottom of the reservoir might just be a pipe.” But Dean Lomax, an ichthyosaur expert dedicated to digging up fossils, described it as “One of the greatest discoveries in the history of British paleontology.”

Call Britain “The birthplace of ichthyosaurs” Lomax told the BBC that the fossils of these animals have “It was unearthed here for more than 200 years,” And confirmed that the Lateran specimen is the largest specimen found in the country so far.


In the 1970s, incomplete skeletons of two smaller specimens were discovered during the construction of the Lateran Reservoir.

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