A new mysterious small marine reptile that dates back 150 million years ago, has been identified as a new species found in a Late Jurassic deep marine deposit along the English Channel coastline in Dorset, England.
Interestingly the new small marine reptile is known as the Thalassodraco etchesi or Etches sea dragon -- with SciTech Daily reporting that this newly-discovered species might have been able to dive to extreme depths. SciTech reports: "The aquatic reptile has been determined to be part of the group known as ichthyosaurs, which were streamlined marine predators from the Late Jurassic period".
Paleontologist Megan L. Jacobs said: "This ichthyosaur has several differences that makes it unique enough to be its own genus and species. New Late Jurassic ichthyosaurs in the United Kingdom are extremely rare, as these creatures have been studied for 200 years. We knew it was new almost instantly, but it took about a year to make thorough comparisons with all other Late Jurassic ichthyosaurs to make certain our instincts were correct. It was very exciting to not be able to find a match".
The specimen is said to have been around 6 feet long, discovered by fossil collector Steve Etches MBE in 2009 after a cliff crumbled along the seaside. Etches discovered the specimen encased in a slab that would've been buried under 300 feet of limestone seafloor layer.
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