The skull of an ancient sea creature that was the “apex predator in the ocean” was discovered on southern England’s famous World Heritage Jurassic Coast, the BBC News reports.
The formidable fossil, found in Dorset, is almost seven feet long. It belonged to a pliosaur, an extinct marine reptile that terrorized the oceans from the earliest Jurassic to early Late Cretaceous periods, approximately 150 million years ago.
According to the BBC, the ancient pliosaur could navigate oceans at great speed and kill prey in a single bit.
The skull has 130 long and razor-sharp teeth. The back of each tooth is ridged to allow it to quickly pierce the flesh and extract its prey.
It’s prey was dolphin-like creatures and other pliosaurs, scientists told the BBC.
Pliosaurs had jaws more than twice as powerful as today’s saltwater crocodiles.
“The animal would have been so massive that I think it would have been able to prey effectively on anything that was unfortunate enough to be in its space,” Andre Rowe, a palaeobiologist from Bristol University, told BBC News.
The creatures measured 32-39 feet long, propelling themselves quickly with four powerful flipper-like limbs.
“I’m sure that it was a T. Rex-like creature. Rowe confirmed.
The groundbreaking discovery was made when fossil enthusiast Phil Jacobs was walking along a beach on the coast of southern England. He came across the tip of the pliosaur’s snout lying in the shingle.
A drone located the massive head in a nearby cliff. Paleontologists had to abseil down from the top in a complex operation to excavate the remarkable fossil.
The fossil that was recently discovered will be featured in an David Attenborough special on BBC One New Year’s Day. It is unique and revered in the scientific community for how complete and intact it is.
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