Scotland Had A Real Sea Monster 170 Million Years Ago

Scotland Had A Real Sea Monster 170 Million Years Ago

Cryptozoologists may bicker about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, but 170 million years ago, the area that's now Scotland had a different sort of beast. In September 2016, researchers unveiled the fossil of the Storr Lochs Monster, a type of ocean-dwelling ichthyosaur that would grow to 13 feet (4 meters) in length. It had a long, pointed head filled with hundreds of cone-shaped teeth that scientists believe it used to dine on fish and squid. The most complete skeleton of a marine reptile from the Middle Jurassic—sometimes known as the Age of the Dinosaurs—this particular fossil was discovered in 1966 by Norrie Gillies, a power station manager who found it on a beach near the facility. Despite this early discovery, it wasn't until 2016 that the National Museums Scotland and the University of Edinburgh were able to combine their expertise and take a more complete look at the fossil.

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