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Pliosaur Sea Monster Enters Guinness World Records!

The reconstructed skull of a 150 million year old prehistoric sea monster has made it into the world record books. In display at the Etches Collection in Kimmeridge since January this year, the 2m-long (6ft) skull of the pliosaur, discovered by local fossil enthusiast Philip Jacobs in April 2022 whilst walking along the beach at Kimmeridge Bay (see Dorset News, Jan/Feb 2024), led to record-breaking numbers of visitors coming to the renowned fossil museum in Kimmeridge.


A Different Kind of Record Confirm

 

Now the find, confirmed by Guinness World Records as the most complete of its type on the planet, is breaking a different kind of record confirm. The infamous record-breaking award body has declared it the “most complete” of its type on the planet, about “95% complete by surface area”, with “previously unobservable details” of the genus.


The remarkable find came to national and international attention after it was featured by David Attenborough on a New Year’s Day broadcast by the BBC, Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster, with excavations into the sheer cliff face, led by Jacob’s friend and fossil museum owner Steve Etches, beginning that summer, resulting in the recovery of the rest of the two-metre long head.


As explained by national treasure David Attenborough in his compelling documentary, the marine reptiles, which grew up to 12m-long, powered through the ocean using four paddle-like limbs. The Kimmeridge skull bears features not seen on other pliosaurs, including a high head crest, suggesting it may be a species new to science.


After confirmation about the world record had been declared, Dr Etches commented: “Receiving the news that we have been awarded a Guinness World Record title in recognition of the fact that it is the most complete skull of its kind ever found is a really nice accolade to share as part of the ongoing story.”  

 

Etches is crowdfunding to recover the rest of the ancient monster that remains embedded in the fast-eroding cliff face. Truly a race against time!


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