While nowadays there are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the U.S., people in ancient times may have not had it so easy. Earlier this month, Scottish paleontologists revealed the fossil remains of a frightening sea monster that may have had cavemen swimming for their lives.
This sea monster is giving the Loch Ness Monster a run for its money. Known as Storr Lochs, he has been preserved in the National Museums Scotland for the past 50 years. He underwent a detailed study by University of Edinburgh researchers and has been released for public view.
Unearthed on Scotland’s northwestern Isle of Skye in 1966, Storr Lochs’ remains are around 13 feet in length and show a distinct long nose and a streamlined body. Paleontologists believe Storr Lochs lived primarily in the sea, and is apart of the ichthyosaurs dinosaur family.
Storr Lochs is unique in that he is the best ever seafaring skeleton from the Mesozoic era found in Scotland. This find is expected to lead researchers to dig up some interesting finds. The new research will pay more attention to how this particular dinosaur evolved during the Middle Jurassic period, as there are not a lot of fossils from this particular era.
“Ichthyosaurs like the Storr Lochs Monster ruled the waves while dinosaurs thundered across the land,” Dr. Steve Brusatte, Professor at the School of GeoSciences in Scotland explained to Tech Times. “Their bones are exceptionally rare in Scotland, which makes this specimen one of the crown jewels of Scottish fossils.”
These mammoth sea creatures had cone-shaped teeth good for eating fish and squid. Scientists believe they had incredibly fast swimming power.
They are compared to the dolphin of modern times. A scary one at that.
Photo: Todd Marshall for University of Edinburgh