Nestled along the picturesque cliffs of Dorset's Jurassic Coast a remarkable discovery has surfaced; the perfectly preserved skull of a pliosaur. This impressive marine reptile ruled the seas some 150 million years ago. Measuring an impressive 2 meters in length, this fossilized marvel stands as one of the most complete specimens ever found, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the world of this ancient predator.
The Enormous Pliosaur Skull:
As one approaches this newfound specimen, the sheer magnitude of the pliosaur skull becomes immediately apparent. Surpassing the height of most humans, it serves as a testament to the colossal size of the creature it once belonged to. Local paleontologist Steve Etches attests that there is simply no comparison to be found elsewhere.
A Lethal Arsenal: 130 Teeth and Dagger-like Fangs:
Drawing our attention to the forefront are the 130 teeth. Extended and razor-sharp, these intimidating teeth possessed the capability to deliver a fatal blow with a single bite. Upon closer inspection, the intricacies of each tooth serve as a testament to the ferocity of the pliosaur —fine ridges marked on the back aid the creature in piercing flesh making it an efficient and ruthless hunter.
Beyond its physical prowess, the pliosaur exhibits features suggesting remarkably acute and advantageous senses. Its snout, dotted with small pits, may have housed glands facilitating the detection of changes in water pressure caused by potential prey. Adding to the marvel, a hole on its head likely served as a housing for a parietal, or third, eye—a light-sensitive organ found in certain contemporary creatures like lizards, frogs, and fish. This adaptation might have played a crucial role in locating other animals, especially as the pliosaur surfaced from the deep, murky waters it once called home.
The discovery of this pliosaur skull along the cliffs of Dorset not only unravels the mysteries of an ancient predator but also provides researchers and enthusiasts alike with a unique opportunity to delve into the depths of prehistoric marine life. With its colossal size, lethal dental arsenal, and intricate sensory adaptations, this specimen stands as a testament to the marvels that once roamed our oceans millions of years.
Join the Fun:
How about coming down to see the excitement firsthand? You might uncover the next remarkable fossil. Situated nearby are holiday parks like Durdle Door Holiday Park (0.3 miles away) and Sandy Holmes Holiday Park (7 miles away), offering a perfect setting for fossil enthusiasts. Explore the links provided below for more details on these parks.