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Massive skull of prehistoric sea monster that was the 'ultimate killing machine' discovered in UK

Jurassic Coast, Dorset | Stock illustration of a Pliosaur
Jurassic Coast, Dorset | Stock illustration of a PliosaurGetty Images
  • A seven-foot skull belonging to an ancient sea monster was discovered in Dorset.

  • The pliosaur was an apex predator that roamed the ocean 150 million years ago.

  • The skull contains 130 razor-sharp teeth that could instantly kill its prey.

The skull of an ancient sea creature that was the "apex predator in the ocean" was discovered on southern England's famous World Heritage Jurassic Coast, the BBC News reports.

The formidable fossil, found in Dorset, is almost seven feet long. It belonged to a pliosaur, an extinct marine reptile that terrorized the oceans from the earliest Jurassic to early Late Cretaceous periods, approximately 150 million years ago.

The ancient pliosaur was the "ultimate killing machine," able to navigate the ocean at high speed and kill its prey with a single bite, per the BBC.

The skull has 130 long and razor-sharp teeth. Each tooth has fine ridges at the back to pierce its prey's flesh, quickly extract, and prepare itself for a swift second attack.

It's prey was dolphin-like creatures and other pliosaurs, scientists told the BBC.

Pliosaurs had jaws more than twice as powerful as today's saltwater crocodiles.

"The animal would have been so massive that I think it would have been able to prey effectively on anything that was unfortunate enough to be in its space," Andre Rowe, a palaeobiologist from Bristol University, told BBC News.

The creatures measured 32-39 feet long, propelling themselves quickly with four powerful flipper-like limbs.

"I have no doubt that this was sort of like an underwater T. Rex," Rowe said.

The groundbreaking discovery was made when fossil enthusiast Phil Jacobs was walking along a beach on the coast of southern England. He came across the tip of the pliosaur's snout lying in the shingle.

The massive head was located in nearby cliff face by a drone. Paleontologists had to abseil down from the top in a complex operation to excavate the remarkable fossil.

The newly uncovered fossil will feature in a special David Attenborough program on BBC One on New Year's Day. It is unique and revered in the scientific community for how complete and intact it is.

Read the original article on Business Insider