In the English county of Dorset, a giant skull of a sea monster was extracted from the rocks of the so-called Jurassic Coast.
The BBC writes about it.
Despite its colossal size and menacing appearance, this monster was not mythical. The skull belonged to the largest marine predator, Pliosaurus, which was a thunderstorm of the oceans about 150 million years ago.
The fossil found reaches a length of two meters and is one of the best-preserved specimens of an extinct reptile. As a result, scientists have received new data about this ancient predator.
Dorset paleontologist Steve Etches believes that this is a unique specimen, the likes of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
"This is one of the best fossils I've ever worked with. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is an absolutely intact copy. Hardly anyone around the world has found specimens with so many preserved parts. And even if they did, some of them were still missing," he said.
Scientists have already examined the large round holes at the back of the skull's head. They can be used to judge the size of the muscles that controlled the jaws of the pliosaur, as well as the gigantic force with which its mouth closed.
The maximum force was about 33,000 Newtons.
"To give you an idea of what it is: the most powerful jaws of modern animals belong to crested crocodiles and can reach a force of about 16,000 Newtons," the scientists specified.
Recall that scientists came close to unraveling the possible cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. In a new study, scientists claim that the dinosaurs did not die at all from an asteroid impact. According to a team from the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the main cause of the mass death of life on Earth was dust from crushed rock thrown into the planet's atmosphere. It is assumed that it blocked the sun and interfered with the photosynthesis of plants.