Colossal 'sea monster' unearthed
By REBECCA MORELLE - BBC EARTH NEWS
Added: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to rod-the-farmer for the link.
The fossilised skull of a colossal "sea monster" has been unearthed along the UK's Jurassic Coast.
The ferocious predator, which is called a pliosaur, terrorised the oceans 150 million years ago.
The skull is 2.4m long, and experts say it could belong to one of the largest pliosaurs ever found: measuring up to 16m in length.
The fossil, which was found by a local collector, has been purchased by Dorset County Council.
It was bought with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and it will now be scientifically analysed, prepared and then put on public display at Dorset County Museum.
Palaeontologist Richard Forrest told the BBC: "I had heard rumours that something big was turning up. But seeing this thing in the flesh, so to speak, is just jaw dropping. It is simply enormous."
Pliosaurs were a form of plesiosaur, a group of giant aquatic reptiles that dominated the seas around the same time that dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
They had short necks and huge, crocodilian-like heads that contained immensely powerful jaws and a set of huge, razor-sharp teeth.
Thomas H. Maugh II - LA Times Comments
Modern culture emerged in southern Africa at least 44,000 years ago, more than 20,000 years earlier than anthropologists had previously believed
Michael Balter - Wired Science Comments
New studies on volcanic glass show that a volcanic eruption once thought to be blamed for the demise of Neanderthals occurred after they were already gone.
John Noble Wilford - New York Times Comments
Who are we, and where did we come from?
- - ScienceDaily Comments
This is the tooth of a hominid embedded in a rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of "Karabo", the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa Site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009. (Credit: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)
Ryan Shaffer - The Humanist Comments
Interview with Richard Leakey, a world-renowned paleoanthropologist whose career has been marked by famous scientific finds, political office, and conservation efforts.
Meghan Rosen - Science News Comments
A newly discovered, nearly complete fossilized skeleton hints that all dinosaurs may have sported feathers.