Unveiling Nessie's Kin? Fossil of 170-Million-Year-Old Sea Monster Discovered in Scottish Loch, Liberated from Ancient Rocky Resting Place - Media News 48

Unveiling Nessie’s Kin? Fossil of 170-Million-Year-Old Sea Monster Discovered in Scottish Loch, Liberated from Ancient Rocky Resting Place

The legendary monster prowling the dark waters of Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s most enduring mysteries.

Ichthyosaurs fossil found to be new species - with last meal in its stomach  | Daily Mail Online

Yet it appears Loch Ness is not the only highland loch to perhaps have been home to giant predators from a prehistoric age.

Ichthyosaurs fossil found to be new species - with last meal in its stomach  | Daily Mail Online

A fossilised skeleton of a marine reptile that ruled the seas 170 million years ago has finally been unveiled nearly half a century after it was discovered on the Isle of Skye.

A fossil of a predator (pictured) that prowled the ocean 170 million years ago have been freed from the rock that encased it 50 years after being found on the beach of a loch on the Isle of Skye. the ichthyosaur would have measured up to 13 feet long and hunted fish

Ichthyosaurs (artist’s impression) were powerful marine reptiles with mouth’s filled with cone-shaped teeth. They thrived during the Jurassic at a time when dinosaurs rule the land

The fossil ichthyosaur was found on the beach beside Storr Lochs Power Station on the Isle of Skye on the west coast of Scotland (shown on map)

The fossil was put into safe keeping at the National Museums Scotland’s storage facility for 50 years as scientists lacked the technology needed to free it from the dense rock.

Ichthyosaur for sale | eBay

However, researchers have now carefully chipped this away and are now preparing to carry out a detailed examination of the fossil.

Sadly Mr Gillies died in 2011 at the age of 93-years-old and never got to see his fossil in all its glory.

The fossil was found encased in hard, compacted rock (pictured), but palaeotologists have now been working to free the fossilised remains from this so it can be studied

The fossil was found in 1966 on the beach of the Storr Loch Power Station by Norris Gillies, who ran the facility. His son Allan (pictured) was six at the time when it was found

Dr Nick Fraser, keeper of natural sciences at National Museums Scotland, said: ‘The Storr Lochs monster highlights the rich fossil heritage of Skye.

Skye's Storr Lochs Monster fossil unveiled in Edinburgh - BBC News

‘Collaborations between scientists at National Museums Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and elsewhere in the UK are beginning to shed new light on the middle Jurassic of Skye – a time when dinosaurs were dominant on land but mammals were also diversifying.’

Storr Loch monster discovered by power station manager, unveiled by  scientists - News for the Energy Sector

Nicknamed the Storr Lochs Monster, some have speculated that it could be an ancestor of the Loch Ness Monster that is supposed to stalk the depths of Loch Ness about 90 miles to the east.

Scientists say the fossil (pictured) is the ‘crown jewel’ of those found so far in Scotland from the Jurassic Period, when much of the country lay beneath a shallow but warm sea

The fossilised ichthyosaur was unveiled at the National Museums Scotland (pictured left with the remains of an Ice Age giant deer)  where it has lain in its storage facility for nearly 50 years. Scientists will now examine the fossil in more detail in a new research project (right)

Martin Pibworth, managing director wholesale at SSE, said: ‘The fossil was found 50 years ago by Norrie Gillies who, like his son Allan, are both proud SSE company men and were determined it should receive the public attention it deserves.

‘SSE hopes this fossil will indeed prove to be a ‘crown jewel’ in Scotland’s Jurassic history and thanks to the foresight of the Gillies family, enjoyed by generations to come.’

Some have speculated that the monster rumoured to prowl the depths of Loch Ness could be a descendant of creatures like the prehistoric ichthyosaur found at Storr Lochs

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