1 min read

Discovery of Exceptionally Preserved Pliosaur Skull Unveiled on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

December 12, 2023
MixCollage 12 Dec 2023 11 57 AM 1810 770x433 1 1

Explore the fascinating find of a remarkably preserved pliosaur skull discovered on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Delve into the ancient marine reptile’s story and its feature in BBC’s upcoming documentary.”

A remarkable breakthrough in paleontology emerged as a colossal relic from the depths of prehistoric oceans resurfaced on Dorset’s renowned Jurassic Coast in England. The unearthing of a remarkably well-preserved skull belonging to a pliosaur, a marine reptile dating back around 150 million years, has captivated scientists and enthusiasts alike.

Referred to by CNN as an awe-inspiring fossil, this 6 feet and 5 inches-long specimen offer profound insights into the life of this ancient sea predator.

Originally unearthed in 2022, this extraordinary fossil will take the spotlight in the upcoming BBC documentary, “Attenborough and the Jurassic Sea Monster,” set to debut on BBC One on New Year’s Day.

Palaeontologist Steve Etches, deeply engaged in this discovery, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It’s one of the best fossils I’ve ever worked on. What makes it unique is it’s complete.” Etches emphasized the fossil’s rarity, noting the pristine preservation, including the fusion of the lower jaw and upper skull, a rarity in such finds.

This remarkable fossil was initially spotted in Dorset by Phil Jacobs, an associate of Steve Etches. Jacobs stumbled upon a fraction of the pliosaur’s snout while exploring the renowned World Heritage Jurassic Coast in southern England.

Employing advanced techniques including drone mapping of the cliffside, Jacobs and Etches meticulously pinpointed the probable location of the fossil. Etches commented on their initial excitement as the fossil’s jaws were intact, signifying its completeness.

The retrieval operation of the rest of the fossil was a race against the elements. Etches and his team faced the daunting challenge of extracting the relic before the imminent summer storms eroded the cliffs. Over a three-week operation, suspended in the air, they painstakingly chiseled into the cliff, culminating in a last-minute extraction, concluding at 9:30 p.m.

Diving deeper into the pliosaur’s legacy, these apex predators, reported by Encyclopaedia Britannica to grow up to 50 feet in length, commanded the prehistoric oceans. Equipped with long, razor-sharp teeth and an astounding bite force of 33,000 newtons, these creatures surpassed even the present-day saltwater crocodile in jaw strength.

Dr. Andre Rowe from Bristol University emphasized, “The animal would have been so massive that I think it would have been able to prey effectively on anything that was unfortunate enough to be in its space. This was sort of like an underwater T. rex.”

The pliosaur’s dining preferences might have included the dolphin-like ichthyosaur and the plesiosaur, a long-necked marine reptile.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Discover more from The Kashmir Monitor

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Don't miss a beat! The Kashmir Monitor delivers the latest Kashmir news, sports highlights from every league, political updates, entertainment buzz, and tech innovations happening right now.

Leave a Reply