Jawbone fossil found on UK beach belongs to one of the biggest marine animals ever

Jawbone fossil found on UK beach belongs to one of the biggest marine animals ever
Jaw bone of a giant ichthyosaur. Photo: Dean Lomax, University of Manchester/PA Wire.

A jawbone fossil found on a UK beach belongs to one of the largest marine animals that ever lived, scientists say.

The bone is believed to belong to an ichthyosaur that is estimated to be up to 85 feet (26 metres) long, which is almost the size of a blue whale.

The animal is said to have lived 205 million years ago at the end of the Triassic Period.

Fossil collector Paul de la Salle found the bone on the beach at Lilstock, Somerset in May 2016. He later returned to the site and found even more pieces that together measured about one metre in length, the University of Manchester reports.

Paul said: “Initially, the bone just looked like a piece of rock but, after recognising a groove and bone structure, I thought it might be part of a jaw from an ichthyosaur and immediately contacted ichthyosaur experts".

- Digital Desk

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