Bone of prehistoric sea titan found by father and daughter in England

Justin and Ruby Reynolds, a British father and daughter, discovered the fossilized remains of what could be the largest known marine reptile in May 2020.

A beautiful family story. Justin and Ruby Reynolds, a father and daughter living in Braunton, England, discovered the fossilized remains of a prehistoric marine reptile. In May 2020, a piece of the jaw of a giant ichthyosaur was found in Somerset, north of Bristol.

“It was really cool to discover part of this gigantic ichthyosaur. I am very proud to have played a part in such a scientific discovery,” Ruby, who was 11 at the time, told Skynews.

More than 25 meters long

This marine reptile could measure more than 25 meters in length, making it the largest ever observed. The first fossil of the same species was discovered further on the same coast in 2016 by collector Paul de la Salle.

Hand in hand with researchers

Justin and Ruby reported their discovery to Dr. Dean Lomax, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester. “I was amazed by this discovery. In 2018, my team, which included Paul de la Salle, studied and described Paul’s giant jaw, and we hoped that one day another specimen would be discovered,” he told the media. He is pleased that the specimen is “better preserved” than the previous one.

The scientist says he is particularly “impressed” by the fact that two amateurs “correctly identified the discovery as another huge ichthyosaur jaw”. Two walkers also joined his team “to study and describe this fossil”.

Young Ruby is now appearing in a published scientific journal at just 15 years old, which “few young people” of that age can claim, the palaeontologist points out. The family’s discovery is actually immortalized in a study published April 17 in Plos One.

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