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Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Real "Sea Monster" Discovered in Scotland

Many people think lakes in Scotland (particularly Loch Ness) are inhabited by water monsters. Some believe these monsters to be survivors of the Mesozoic Era, and they may be.

Recently, an ancient marine reptile fossil was discovered in Scotland. It is not a plesiosaur fossil(like the common image of the Loch Ness Monster), but an Ichthyosaurs, a species of ancient fish-like reptiles. Scientists say that this new creature fills the gap of Ichthyosaurs during the Middle Jurassic Period. The new Ichthyosaur lived about 170 million years ago in Nessie's homeland.
Artist's rendering of the new Ichthyosaur Dearcmhara shawcrossi
from live science.com

Could Nessie be an Ichthyosaur? Probably not. Most witnesses describe Nessie as having a long slender neck like a plesiosaur, and Ichthyosaurs did not have long necks and pretty much looked like huge fish. It's still a cool fossil find nonetheless.

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