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Palaeontology

Prehistoric 'sea dragon' fossil unearthed

By T.K. Randall
December 27, 2020 · Comment icon 3 comments



The fossil ichthyosaur is around 6ft long. Image Credit: University of Portsmouth
Palaeontologists have identified a new prehistoric sea creature that lived in what is now the English Channel.
The Jurassic-era creature, which was discovered in a deep marine deposit along the coastline of Dorset in southern England, dates back 150 million years to a time when the oceans were teeming with prehistoric creatures, pterosaurs ruled the skies and dinosaurs roamed the land.

Nicknamed 'sea dragon', the new species (official name Thalassodraco etchesi) was part of a group of streamlined dolphin-like marine predators known as ichthyosaurs.

This particular specimen, which was originally unearthed in 2009, was around 6ft long.

It was found by amateur fossil collector Steve Etches.
"I'm very pleased that this ichthyosaur has been found to be new to science, and I'm very honored for it to be named after me," he said.

"It's excellent that new species of ichthyosaurs are still being discovered, which shows just how diverse these incredible animals were in the Late Jurassic seas."



Source: Slashgear | Comments (3)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ChrLzs 2 years ago
Hmm. Unfortunately, for us marine biology enthusiaststhe term "seadragon" is taken. SA's Leafy Seadragon holds a very special place for me... It's only about 8-10" long and mesmerisingly beautiful. I was lucky enough to see one while diving at the jetty at Tumby Bay. From the Wiki and James Rosindell.. Sorry for the derail!
Comment icon #2 Posted by DebDandelion 2 years ago
Now that is art in motion
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 2 years ago
It's funny how this creature, which looks like an adorable and harmless extra in Finding Nemo, has a badass name like 'Thalassodraco'.


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