Scientist have studied the skull of a sea creature that has been lying untouched for years. The recent analysis found that the skull is the largest of its kind.
The skull is meter long and it was first found 60 years ago. Dating back to 200 million years, the skull has been kept intact.
Lead author of the study, Dr Lomax expressed his surprise when he first saw how well preserved the skull was. “The first time I saw this specimen I was puzzled by its excellent preservation,’ Dr Lomax said.
“Ichthyosaurs of this age are usually ‘pancaked,’ meaning they are squished so that the original structure of the skull is either not preserved or is distorted or damaged. So to have a skull and portions of the skeleton of an ichthyosaur of this age is preserved in three dimensions, and without any surrounding rock obscuring it, is something quite special,’ he added.
The skull is twice the size of the one belonging to Protoichthyosaurus.
Dr Lornax further commented on the discovery of the skull and the findings of the study.
“Not only has our study revealed exciting information about the internal autonomy of the skull of this animal, but our findings will aid other palaeontologists in exploring its evolutionary relationship with other ichthyosaurs,’ Dr Lomax stated.