MOSCOW, January 12 (Sputnik) – A new species of ancient sea monster that lived around 170 million years ago has been identified from fossils found on the Isle of Scotland, reports The Telegraph.
The sea monster looked like a dolphin merged with a crocodile, it was 14 feet from snout to tail, and inhabited warm, shallow seas around Scotland during the Jurassic Period, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh.
"During the time of dinosaurs, the waters of Scotland were prowled by big reptiles the size of motor boats,” Dr. Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences said. "Their fossils are very rare, and only now, for the first time we've found a new species that was uniquely Scottish.”
The fossils of this creature reached scientists through a collector who donated the bones to a museum instead of keeping them or selling them. Dr. Brusatte expressed his gratefulness by saying that scientists would have never known that this amazing animal existed if it wasn’t for the donation, reports The Telegraph.
As reports The Telegraph, Skye is one of the few places in the world where fossils from the Middle Jurassic Period can be found. The team says discoveries made there could deliver valuable insights into how marine reptiles evolved.