The fossilized skeleton of a giant ichthyosaur, or “sea dragon”, has been described as the “palaeontological discovery of a lifetime” by a team at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve.
The Jurassic giant was found last year by Joe Davis, Rutland Water Conservation team leader, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust said on January 10, with the site excavated by scientists and volunteers during the summer.
This footage, released by Anglian Water, which manages the reserve in partnership with the wildlife trust, shows the excavation of the site in August 2021.
Ichthyosaurs first appeared approximately 250 million years ago and went extinct around 90 million years ago. The marine reptiles could grow to 25 meters in length.
The remains at the Rutland site are about 180 million years old, according to the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, and measured 10 meters in length, with a skull that weighs approximately one tonne.
“It is a truly unprecedented discovery and one of the greatest finds in British palaeontological history,” the leader of the excavation, Dr Dean Lomax, said. Credit: Anglian Water via Storyful