As reported by CNN on December 11th a team of researchers in Dorset, England found a 150-million-year-old enormous skull of a pliosaur back in 2022. Found on the beach inside an area commonly called the “Jurassic Coast,” researchers are now looking into this unusually large skull for evidence that it may belong to a previously unseen species. According to the researchers, the skull measured 6.6 ft from end to end.
Now, Sir David Attenborough premiering a BBC special about sea monsters from the Jurassic on January 1st to tell the tale of this find. Titled “Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster,” the special will focus on the pliosaur that he discovered back in 2022. As he refers to them in the special, these are “the Tyrannosaurus rex of the seas.”
From decades of research, these are estimated to go between 16 and 85 ft in length and are hypothesized to have the strongest bite of any creature discovered to date. Some believe that they could easily puncture the outer skin of a car with ease, and possibly even give an up-armored vehicle a real run for its money.
Steve Etches is a paleontologist and was there assisting in the 2022 discovery. “It [the pliosaur] died in the right environment [for preservation], there was a lot of sedimentation … so when it died and went down to the seafloor, it got buried quite quickly. It’s one of the best fossils I’ve ever worked on. What makes it unique is it’s complete.”