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Palaeontology

Prehistoric marine reptile found in Scotland

By T.K. Randall
January 12, 2015 · Comment icon 18 comments



Ichthyosaurs were once plentiful in the prehistoric seas. Image Credit: Heinrich Harder
The fossilized remains of a large dolphin-like creature have been found on the Isle of Skye.
The Loch Ness Monster may have acquired some competition this week as scientists in Scotland announced the discovery of Dearcmhara shawcrossi, a large ocean-dwelling reptile that roamed the prehistoric seas more than 170 million years ago.

The new species, which was part of the ichthyosaur family, measured a whopping 14ft in length and is believed to have feasted upon a diet of fish and squid.
"It is from Scotland, and is the first uniquely Scottish marine reptile ever discovered and studied," said paleontologist Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh.

The name "Dearcmhara" is actually Scottish Gaelic for "marine lizard."

The fossils were originally discovered on a beach by amateur fossil hunter Brian Shawcross all the way back in 1959 before being donated to a museum several decades later.

Source: Reuters | Comments (18)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ozfactor 8 years ago
It is very recognizable , like a giant modern day barracuda .
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
It looks kinda cute! If you like something that looks as if it will rip your arm off.
Comment icon #11 Posted by SameerPrehistorica 8 years ago
14 feet is whopping ? That is small.
Comment icon #12 Posted by woodsbooger 8 years ago
If you like something that looks as if it will rip your arm off. That's just my type.
Comment icon #13 Posted by calaf 8 years ago
If you like something that looks as if it will rip your arm off. Sounds like my wife.
Comment icon #14 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
the swimmers and the flyers were not dinos. but, what gets me is with only four bones, their going to declare this a Scotland only reptile. most large ocean predators migrate in order to find enough to eat. the main exceptions are the baleen whales that migrate to mate.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Likely Guy 8 years ago
the swimmers and the flyers were not dinos. but, what gets me is with only four bones, their going to declare this a Scotland only reptile. most large ocean predators migrate in order to find enough to eat. the main exceptions are the baleen whales that migrate to mate. You're relating two unrelated species 100's of millions of years apart. As a result, I'm not sure what your point is. I
Comment icon #16 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
You're relating two unrelated species 100's of millions of years apart. As a result, I'm not sure what your point is. I how do you decide that this animal only lived in Scotland when you have only four bones. deciding what it ate would be near impossible, unless you decide it ate the same types of food its relatives did. most large ocean predators migrate in order to find enough food.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Junior Chubb 8 years ago
If you like something that looks as if it will rip your arm off. A Wookie?
Comment icon #18 Posted by shaka5 8 years ago
Am I the only one that noticed the article said it was alive 170 million years ago but then calls it a new species?


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