Scientists in Scotland have found a prehistoric behemoth: a previously unknown species of reptile that lived in the oceans during the time of dinosaurs. And before you ask, no, scientists do not believe this new fossil has anything to do with the Loch Ness Monster.
Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte, at the University of Edinburgh, led the team that characterized the new reptile species, in a study published online Monday in theScottish Journal of Geology. Brusatte says you could be forgiven if you were to mistake it for a dinosaur.
“It looks like a dinosaur, but it isn’t technically a dinosaur,” he says. “Dinosaurs didn’t live in the ocean.” The new reptile is from a class of marine creatures called ichthyosaurs.
Image credit: Todd Marshall/University of Edinburgh
Caption: An artist’s rendering of what Dearcmhara Shawcrossi probably looked like in dinosaur times.