Sea reptiles the size of whales swam off the English coast even as dinosaurs walked the land, according to a new fossil discovery.
The jaw bone, discovered on a Somerset beach, is giving clues to the ”closing of the giants” that roamed the oceans 205 million years in the past.
The one-metre-lengthy bone came from the mouth of an enormous predatory ichthyosaur.
The creature may have been one in every of the largest ever known, at the back of best blue whales and dinosaurs, say scientists.
The ancient jawbone was once discovered near the village of Lilstock by way of fossil collector Paul de l. a. Salle.
Symbol copyright PLOS ONE/Lomax Symbol caption The jaw bone from Lilstock
”Every fossil tells a story,” mentioned Dean Lomax. ”It displays there are these items in the market – with a bit of luck a persons going to seek out a complete one.”
During the age of the dinosaurs, the sea was house to many sorts of ichthyosaur.
They seemed within the Triassic, reached their peak in the Jurassic, then disappeared in the Cretaceous – a couple of million years earlier than the closing dinosaurs died out.
Ichthyosaurs were a number of the first skeletons to be came upon via early fossil-hunters, at a time whilst theories of evolution and ideas of geology have been starting to take shape.
The fossil hunter Mary Anning found out the primary entire fossil of an ichthyosaur in the cliffs close to Lyme Regis, Dorset, in 1810.
Her discovery shook up the medical global and equipped evidence for new concepts in regards to the historical past of the Earth.
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