New species of plesiosaur discovered in Cambridgeshire

Image credit: Heinrich Harder

It is possible that a new species of plesiosaur has been discovered in Cambridgeshire. Archaeologists from Oxford have discovered the 165 million year-old remains at Must Farm quarry near Whittlesey. 

The team dug up more than 600 bone fragments, and from this they have been able to build a very accurate idea of what the creature looked like. Overall the Oxford Clay Working Group have spent over 400 hours cleaning and repairing the fossilised remains. Luckily the plesiosaur’s skull has been preserved as it is encased in clay, and this had made it possible for the team to gain a very accurate insight into the plesiosaur’s appearance.

A plesiosaur is a type of sea creature that lived at the same time as dinosaurs, and they became extinct 66 million years ago. Experts at Oxford University's Museum of Natural History are currently studying the skeleton and have found that it is unique. This plesiosaur has some anatomical features that have only been seen in smaller species before, and therefore the scientists believe that they have discovered a new species of plesiosaur.

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