Storr Lochs Monster is a real-life Nessie
By T.K. Randall
September 7, 2016 · 3 comments
Storr Lochs on the Isle of Skye. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 John Allan
A near-complete ichthyosaur fossil found in Scotland is finally getting the attention it deserves.
While there has always been much debate over whether a mysterious creature is really lurking in the depths of Scotland's enigmatic Loch Ness, there is one Scottish monster that is most assuredly the real deal - a creature that lurked in the prehistoric ocean over 170 million years ago.
Its fossil remains were discovered on a beach on the Isle of Skye by a power station manager back in 1966, but with the researchers of the time lacking the means with which to study it properly, the prehistoric skeleton was put in storage at a museum where it would remain for the next 50 years.
Now though, following a renewed interest in the specimen, the secrets of this prehistoric ocean predator are finally being revealed.
"Ichthyosaurs like the Storr Lochs Monster ruled the waves while dinosaurs thundered across the land," said palaentologist Dr Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh.
"Their bones are exceptionally rare in Scotland, which makes this specimen one of the crown jewels of Scottish fossils. It's all thanks to the keen eye of an amateur collector that this remarkable fossil was ever found in the first place, which goes to show that you don't need an advanced degree to make huge scientific discoveries."
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