Move over Loch Ness monster, Scotland has a real one, a Jurassic predator at that.
A fossil of a dolphin-like animal dubbed Storr Lochs Monster has been unveiled in Edinburgh, Scotland and is said to be a 164 million years old, BBC reports
Scientists believe that the fossils belong to a marine reptile family known as ichthyosaur from the Middle Jurassic era (174 to 164 million years ago) which is measured around 4 meters in length. Its head is long and pointed and comes with cone-shaped teeth. Researchers said that ichthyosaurs feed on fish and squid.
University of Edinburgh paleontologist, Steve Brusatte, said
, “Ichthyosaurs like the Storr Lochs Monster ruled the waves, while dinosaurs thundered across the land. Their bones are exceptionally rare in Scotland, which makes this specimen one of the crown jewels of Scottish fossils."
A fossilized skeleton of Scotland’s monster was discovered 50 years ago by a local power station manager on the Isle of Skye which was embedded in limestone.
As scientists continue to study the ichthyosaurus, they hope to learn more about the Middle Jurassic Period.
"We don't have that many fossils from that time period anywhere in the world. That's what makes this potentially an internationally important specimen. It's one of the few good fossils of an ichthyosaur that comes from this 'dark' period,” Brusatte said to National Geographic