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Real Loch Ness Monster Existed, Says Skeleton Found in 1966

Real Loch Ness Monster Existed, Says Skeleton Found in 1966

Engineer John Haig maneuvers robot searching Loch Ness in April. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 September 2016 07:02 AM

A "real" Loch Ness monster actually existed about 170 million years ago, suggests a fossilized skeleton of such a beast found on the Isle of Skye in 1966, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

The bones of what is called the Storr Lochs Monster are the most complete skeleton of a sea-living reptile discovered in Scotland from the "Age of Dinosaurs," said a university news release. The fossil was found by an employee of the energy company SSE and has been kept in storage at the National Museums Scotland for 50 years.

The university said a new collaboration between it, the museums, and the energy company SSE has allowed the fossil to be extracted from the rock that encased it for millions of years.

Once an analysis of the fossil is done, it will be on display at the new SSE visitor's center at Pitlochry Dam in Scotland.

Researchers have identified the ancient reptile as being from a family of animals called ichthyosaurs, about 13 feet long with a pointed head and cone-shaped teeth. It fed on fish and squid.

"The Storrs Loch Monster highlights the rich fossil heritage of Skye," said Nick Fraser, keeper of natural sciences at National Museums Scotland, according to the BBC News. "Collaborations between scientists at National Museums Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere in the (United Kingdom) are beginning to shed new light on the Middle Jurassic of Skye – a time when dinosaurs were dominant on land but mammals were also diversifying,"

Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said that ichthyosaurs like the Storr Lochs Monster once dominated the seas around the Isle of Skye while dinosaurs ruled the land.

"Their bones are exceptionally rare in Scotland, which makes this specimen one of the crown jewels of Scottish fossils," said Brusatte. "It's all thanks to the keen eye of an amateur collector that this remarkable fossil was ever found in the first place, which goes to show that you don't need an advanced degree to make huge scientific discoveries."

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A "real" Loch Ness monster actually existed about 170 million years ago, suggests a fossilized skeleton of such a beast found on the Isle of Skye in 1966, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh.
real, loch ness, monster
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2016-02-07
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 07:02 AM
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