This is not a drill! Potential Loch Ness Monster fossils have been unveiled in Scotland.
As the enduring legend has it, Scotland’s oldest lass, Nessie, is from the prehistoric ichthyosaur family, as is this exciting discovery – so maybe we’ve found her cousin.
Washed up on the shores of the Isle of Skye in 1966, the Storr Lochs Monster caused a splash as it is the most complete ichthyosaur ever found in Scotland, the Daily Mail reports.
And this is what the ‘monster’ looked like and it could be what Ol’ Nessie looks like too (if you believe in that sort of thing). It’s safe to say, it wasn’t quite what we were expecting:
— National Museums Scotland (@NtlMuseumsScot) September 5, 2016
Seriously, where’s the long neck?
Anyway, after 50 years in-waiting, the fossilised skeleton of a 170 million-year-old Jurassic predator are being carefully examined by paleontologists at the University of Edinburgh.
Dr Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said:
Ichthyosaurs like the Storr Lochs Monster ruled the waves while dinosaurs thundered across the land.
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.
— Ed Uni Press Office (@EdinUniMedia) September 5, 2016
The fossils have been put on display at the National Museums Scotland yesterday after a careful extraction of the bones from the rock it was encased in.
The ancient reptiles had a dolphin-like shape and grew to about 4m with hundreds of cone-shaped teeth.
Not taking a ‘dig’ or anything but I’d be pretty ‘petrified’ of these creatures (sorry, had to be done).