The Real Jurassic World…
Did anyone watch the TV screening of the Jurassic World movie on Saturday evening? If you were at our Dippy Sleepover event at the weekend it was one of the two films we showed to get our guests in the mood!
The film is not without it’s critics and if you overlook any scientific or historical facts, it’s great fun! Watching the film with my 7 year old son I am not sure what he was most excited to see… The genetically engineered dinosaur? Velociraptors trained to hunt? The sea monster eating a Great White shark? No, he couldn’t make up his mind either! Feeling inspired by the film, I bring you this top 3 list of our own Mesozoic superstars found fossilised on the Jurassic Coast.
1. Mastondonsaurus lavisi– lived in the Triassic desert about 235 million years ago. They were amphibians, a bit like frogs and toads except these beasts could grow to be six metres long. They were also carnivores, swimming and hunting in the rivers that flowed through the sand dunes. Imagine being chased by a giant flesh-eating toad!
2. Temnodontosaurus platydon – one of the first ichthyosaurs described by scientists. It is also one of the largest types of Ichthyosaur, growing to over 12 metres in size. Not only did they have big bodies but huge eyes – about 20cm across – perhaps the largest eyes of any animal that has ever lived! Temnodontosaurus stalked the early Jurassic Seas for their prey and lived about 190 million years ago.
3. Jurassic World features some scary sea creatures – but the real Jurassic sea monsters were Pliosaurs – huge, powerful marine predators in the Mesezoic era. Our Pliosaur fossil is named Pliosaurus kevani, or Kevan for short. We only have the skull but it is a very special find. Only about five other Pliosaur skulls ever found match Kevan’s in size. With a 16m long body, two metre long jaws and a bite that could tear any other animal to pieces in seconds there really is no contest. Forget T-Rex, Kevan is the scariest animal that has ever lived, maybe he’ll appear in Jurassic World 2?!
To find out more about fossils found here on the Jurassic Coast, go to our Fossil Finder database which contains around 1,000 fossils from the Jurassic Coast Museums. You can search for a particular fossil by its common name, or browse the fossils by type and for a more advanced search, use the additional filters to browse by time period, strata, museum, etc.
Written by Lucy Culkin- Jurassic Coast Trust Programme Manager