Saturday, 20 December 2014

7ft ichthyosaur fossil found on beach near Penarth

19 December 2014 Last updated at 09:27

An amateur fossil hunter has unearthed a 7ft skeleton of a carnivorous marine reptile on a beach in south Wales.

Jonathan Bow, 34, discovered the ichthyosaur while walking the shoreline in the Penarth area.

A palaeontologist at the National Museum Wales said the discovery is important as it appears to be complete.

"Something this large and complete is a once in a lifetime find," said Mr Bow, a computer programmer in Swansea.

Other fossils from the Jurassic period have been unearthed in the area, dating back 200 million years.

He said anyone walking the dog on the beach could have found it, adding that an inch-long piece of rock took his eye after being exposed on a changing tide in September.

It took Mr Bow and his brother a day to expose the fossil in about 60kg (132lb) of stone.

Jonathan Bow described the fossil as a 'whopper'

But he explained that the "labour intensive" work only began after it was taken away from the beach in three sections.

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