It’s a Scottish Loch – it’s a monster – no, not that one #monster #Scotland #fossil #biology

I understand why we hate to say such a creature no longer swims in Earth’s waters.

Scientists have unveiled a monster that would make Nessie blush: a 13-foot-long reptile that

Various ichthyosaurs

Various ichthyosaurs

ruled the seas 170 million years ago… the Storr Lochs Monster.”

The ichthyosaur was a predator, a fast marine reptilian that excites our imaginations – and hopes. Sort of a Jurassic dolphin, though not a mammal. Suppose you could discover such a creature – even as a fossil.

An amateur fossil collector … noticed something strange jutting out of the rocks: strings of vertebrae that looked like stacks of chocolate-brown ashtrays.”

Sadly the discoverer died before the fossil was extracted from the very-hard rock matrix that held it. I wonder what he saw when he closed his eyes and imagined his fossil swimming through ancient seas?

I usually think of the cryptid Nessie as more of a serpent – long and thin – that decades of searching has failed to find. Better a fossil in the hand.

Thanks to nationalgeographic.com

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