Scientists have found the mostly intact skull of a giant, deadly sea reptile

Scientists have discovered a six-foot-long, mostly intact skull of a pliosaur, a giant marine reptile that lived millions of years ago, on the coast of England.

The discovery: The skull of the pliosaur, a large and ferocious sea creature, was discovered near Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset, along England’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast.
* Paleontologist Steve Etches described it as “one of the best fossils I’ve ever worked on,” due to its completeness.

About the pliosaur: The pliosaur was a massive sea creature with a six foot long skull, a parietal (or third) eye, and glands on its snout that could have helped it locate prey.
* It possessed 130 teeth and could bite down with a force far surpassing that of a crocodile.
* Though they existed contemporaneously with dinosaurs, pliosaurs are more closely related to lizards and snakes.

What’s next: The exceptionally preserved skull is set to be featured in a David Attenborough-hosted BBC One special on New Year’s Day, and in the U.S., it will air on PBS on February 14.
* The fossil will eventually be displayed at the Etches Collection, a museum in Kimmeridge.
* Paleontologist Steve Etches believes there’s more of the fossil still waiting to be discovered in the rapidly eroding cliffs.
View original article on NPR
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