Dog finds dolphin-like 'ichthyosaur' skeleton on beach in Somerset

Dog finds dolphin-like 'ichthyosaur' skeleton on beach in Somerset

Metro.co.uk - Blogs·2019-12-17 14:14

The skeleton of the ichthyosaur which was found in Somerset over the weekend (Picture: Caters)A dog walker has found a dolphin-like dinosaur skeleton while out walking on a beach.Poppy and Sam (dogs) became excited by a bone that had become exposed as a result of rough seas on the Somerset coast.Their owner Jon Gopsill, 54, thought there was something prehistoric about the skeleton and he believes it may be an ichthyosaur.He found the Jurassic sea mammal remains on Saturday and is now in touch with the Natural History Museum and Somerset Heritage about his find.Jon said: I often go to the beach walking with my dogs and when the tide goes out we go out to the rocks because they like playing there.I have always been a bit of an amateur fossil hunter and I have found a good supply of ammonites, so I always keep my eyes open.The skeleton is believed to date from the Jurassic period and could be hundreds of millions of years old (Picture: Caters)The fossil was exposed after rough seas hit the area (Picture: Caters)We were at the beach when I saw this thing and thought whats that? so I went a bit closer and thought wow.I thought it was obviously a fossilised sea creature, possibly an ichthyosaur. It doesnt have a head, I have looked around but I cant find it.It has been there for at least 65 million years. I realised straight away that it was amazing, museum quality stuff, as soon as I saw it I knew Id found something special.They are actually believed to have existed between 90 million and 250 million years ago.I was just blown away to see it there. It really is incredible that is has survived for such a long time and is now just there for everyone to see.Poppy and Sam sit proudly next to their discovery (Picture: Caters)The ichthyosaur was first discovered in the early 19th century (Picture: Getty)Surprisingly the next day Jon went again on a walk and this time, his cockapoo Poppy brought him back a stone that turned out to be a fossil too.He added: I couldnt believe it, its stunning- Ive taught her what fossils are but I didnt expect her to bring me one.My wife says it was just luck- I think having had the stormy weather recently has washed a lot of mud out so the rocks were a little bit more exposed.

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