RUTLAND WATER, U.K. (NBC) – The fossilized remains of an ichthyosaur have been found in England’s midlands, the largest and most complete of its kind discovered in the U.K., according to a news release issued by Anglian Water.
The ichthyosaurs were large marine reptiles similar in shape to dolphins but grew up to lengths of 82 feet.
The 32-foot long fossil was discovered in February 2021 in Rutland Water and is thought to be 180 million years old, during the Jurassic Period when dinosaurs walked on land.
A conservationist at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Joe Davis, found the ichthyosaur during a routine draining of a lagoon island for re-landscaping.
The animals are often referred to as sea dragons due to having large eyes and teeth. The animal went extinct around 90 million years ago