Fossil revelation: a Scottish sea monster

January 12, 2015 3:20 PM

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Fossil revelation: a Scottish sea monster

It was the size of a motorboat and looked like a "sinister dolphin," reports Discovery News in describing Scotland's first known—and newly discovered—ichthyosaur. In 1959, Brian Shawcross came upon prehistoric bones on the Isle of Skye; the amateur fossil hunter donated them to Glasgow's Hunterian Museum in the 1990s, Reuters reports, and they were recently identified as a new species, one that lived roughly 170 million years ago.

In a nod to Shawcross and a move designed to encourage more such gifts to science, the Guardian reports the prehistoric reptile was named Dearcmhara shawcrossi (the first word, pronounced "jark vara," is Scottish Gaelic for "marine lizard").

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