Saturday, 4 January 2014

Ichthyosaur at Charmouth discovered by former member of Bath GS

The fossilised remains were spotted by hobby collector Alan Saxon, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, who was on a post-Christmas visit to the Jurassic Coast.
The near-complete ichthyosaur discovered after Christmas storms, was hours away from destruction. Storms uncovered the 1.5m (5ft) fossil at the base of Black Ven near Charmouth on Boxing Day. The giant marine reptile fossil was painstakingly removed over eight hours, shortly before another storm was due. Professional fossil hunter, Paul Crossley helped excavate it.
With only part of the snout missing, but with most vertebrae and its rib cage in place, it is one of only a few ichthyosaur fossils found in such a complete condition on the Jurassic Coast in the past decade. Ichthyosaurs (literally 'fish-lizards') were predatory dolphin-like reptiles that swam the world's oceans 200 million years ago, at the time of the dinosaurs.
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