Dogs discover 190 million-year-old fossil

Posted by Anita Froneman on 23 January 2020

One pet owner got more than he bargained for when he took his dogs for a walk on the beach in December. While strolling, Jon Gopsill and his furry friends, Poppy and Sam, came across an unusual find in Somerset, UK.

A fossil of an ichthyosaur, a prehistoric marine animal, was embedded in sand along the shoreline. Estimated to be 190 million years old, the fossil will go on display at The Museum of Somerset, according to BBC.

According to Beth Jerrett of the South West Heritage Trust, the discovery of small fossils is fairly common but finding such a complete specimen is very rare. Only the head was missing from the 167-centimetre-long fossil.

Palaeontologist Dr Andy King told BBC Radio Somerset that the fossil had been nicknamed Poppy, after Gopsill’s dog, and it was undergoing cleaning.

‘The next stage after that is to consolidate and harden the rock that [it] is in and it really is only at that last stage that we’ll have an indication about what the species is and whether or not it is new. It’s a very significant part of the local heritage.’

The ichthyosaurs are sometimes referred to as ‘swimming dinosaurs’, and the name means fish-lizard, although the creature has been officially classified as a reptile. They became extinct around 90 million years ago.


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#ichthyosaur #ammonite #paleoart #art #animals #nature #ocean #blue #illustration #sciart #dinosaurs

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Image: Instagram/archaeonewsnet

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