Giant sea monster unearthed in UK
Terrifying creature lived 150 million years ago and could have swallowed a human in one gulp.
Wed, Oct 28 2009 at 5:17 PM
Photo: Atlantic Productions
The fossilized remains of a sea monster capable of eating a T. Rex as easily as a cheeseburger has been discovered off of the U.K.'s Jurassic Coast.
Belonging to the pliosaur family, it's believed to have terrorized the oceans some 150 million years ago. Paleontologist Richard Forrest told the BBC: "I had heard rumors that something big was turning up. But seeing this thing in the flesh, so to speak, is just jaw-dropping. It is simply enormous."
How large? The current remains include a jaw bone and upper skull each measuring almost 8 feet long. According to researchers, that would place this pliosaur at nearly 52 feet from head to tail; the largest ever discovered. It was also a highly effective predator -- using its set of huge, razor-sharp teeth to tear off immense chunks of prey, or simply swallow them whole. "It would have been a bit of a blood bath," said one researcher.
Such a discovery puts into perspective the recent fears over a reported 15-foot great white shark haunting Australian waters. While I'd rather not meet either creature while taking a swim, knowing that the pliosaur is long gone somehow feels more reassuring.
Check out some additional pictures and video of the "sea monster" here.
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