Sep 07, 2016 09:41 AM EDT
Scientists have uncovered an almost-intact skeletal remains of a real-life ancient Scottish sea monster, the Ichthyosaur.
The existence of the Ichthyosaur on Scotland's Isle of Skye had been discovered 50 years prior, but it is enclosed in a particularly hard rock which was too complicated for the instruments then.
The fossil was found to be in good condition, which the scientists deem the most complete skeleton of an Ichthyosaur, the National Geographic reported.
The fossil, as of which now comes to be known as the Storr Lochs Monster, was discovered by an amateur fossil collector. The specimen depicts a 13-foot-long marine reptile, which is believed to have lived 170 million years ago; amongst the dinosaurs.
Despite it is being roughly categorized as the dolphins of the Jurassic period, its size and teeth places it among the ranks of the most vicious creatures to have existed. Like the dolphins of today, the Ichthyosaur was fast swimmers with elongated, narrow snouts.
Scientists believe that it primarily preyed on squid and fish, but due to its size, it may have proven to be an efficient predator.
The fossil was encased in rock, which made only complicated the excavation. The University of Edinburgh, as well as the National Museums of Scotland have since joined in with the project and have successfully freed the delicate fossil, with the help of an energy company called SSE, according to The Washington Post.
Scotland is a relatively small country, and scientists have found it difficult to find prehistoric fossils at the isle.
The discovery proved to be a treasure trove of information as researchers have stated that it is very rare to find fossils in Scotland, which adds to the initial difficulty of finding fossils that dates back to the Middle Jurassic Period.
Scotland had been known for its landscape, as well as the popular myth of a living prehistoric monster that dwells in Loch Ness. While it may still escape hunters enthusiasts alike, the Ichthyosaur certainly stamps its mark onto the record books, which puts Nessie to shame.
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