New tech unearths old reptile’s secrets

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Thinktank Ichthyosaur skull, CT scanning. Photo: Nigel Larkin at Cambridge University.

STATE of the art scientific technology has unearthed the secrets of a reptilian beast that died in Shipston-on-Stour 200 million years ago.

New evidence gleaned from a metre-long skull of a fossil marine discovered by a local farmer digging a ditch in 1955 has now been given a thorough examination using computerised tomography (CT).

It tells experts the reptile was a ichthyosaur from the early Jurassic age which measured four metres and dined on fish, squid, octopus and ammonites in seas around Shipston which were probably once as hot as the Caribbean is now.

The reptile’s skull, its front paddles, ribs and other skeletal material are at Thinktank Science Museum, Birmingham.

Full story in this week’s Herald.