Researchers make unprecedented discovery, giant 'sea dragon' found

Researchers made an unprecedented discovery that is dubbed one of the unearthed 'greatest finds in British paleontology history'.

@JakConnorTT
Published Tue, Jan 11 2022 1:02 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Feb 4 2022 5:21 AM CST

The fossilized remains of a giant "sea dragon" that once walked the surface of Earth were discovered by a conservationist in February 2021 while doing routine landscaping at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in England.

Over the course of several weeks, the fossilized remains of the were excavated by paleontologists who were later able to identify that the remains were of an ichthyosaur, an ancient marine reptile that swam and occasionally walked on land during the Triassic period around 250 million years ago. The specimen was found to be almost completely intact and is now the biggest complete Ichthyosaur ever found in Britain.

A team of paleontologists, conservationists, and volunteers safely removed the fossil that ended up having a backbone that stretched 32 feet and included more than 150 individual vertebrae. The fossil was able to remain in almost perfect condition due to it being embedded in clay. Researchers believe that Ichthyosaur would have ranged in size from around 3.3 feet to more than 85 feet in length, and are believed to look similar to a dolphin of today but much larger in size.

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"Our specimen, the Rutland Ichthyosaur or the Rutland Sea Dragon, is the biggest complete Ichthyosaur ever found in Britain in over 200 years of collecting these things scientifically," said paleontologist Dean Lomax who led the excavation of the Rutland Sea Dragon.

"It is a truly unprecedented discovery and one of the greatest finds in British paleontological history," says Lomax, a visiting scientist at the University of Manchester.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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