The skull of one of the largest sea monsters ever found on earth has been unveiled to the public on Friday. Scientists described the creature, which is called 'pliosaur', as the most fearsome predator ever unearthed.
The 155-million-year-old fossil, which is kept at the Dorset County Museum, was found in Dorset, but it took 18 months for the scientists to remove the skull from its rocky casing. Scientists said the creature may be a new species or even genus, BBC News reported.
The fossil was discovered as a pile of bones. However, after a lot of hard work by the scientists, it came together.
We are now told this skull is 95% complete, and probably one of the largest and certainly one of the most well-preserved and complete pliosaurs ever found anywhere in the world, Richard Edmonds, Dorset County Council's earth science manager for the Jurassic Coast, told BBC News.
A local collector named Kevan Sheehan discovered the mammoth fossil between 2003 and 2008. It was sheer luck - I was sitting on the beach, and saw three pieces. I had no idea what they were, but I proceeded to drag them back. Then over several years, I'd go back every year and find a new piece, Sheehan told BBC News
Scientists are showing its eye sockets upon the top of its head and its enormously powerful jaw muscles. There are huge holes spreading all the way down its snout. The snout contains giant sharp teeth.
According Palaeontologist Richard Forrest, it was probably the most fearsome predator that ever lived. Scientists estimate that considering the 2.4m-long skull, the predator would have measured between 15-18m from tip to tail.
Check out the video here: