The Dino Jaws that ruled the oceanComment on this story
London - It’s the most fearsome creature that ever lived and could have devoured a Tyranosaurus-Rex for breakfast… and it is called Kevan.
The Pliosaurus kevani, to give it its proper name, ruled the oceans 150 million years ago.
Equipped with a massive jaw studded with 12in teeth, the “sea rex” had the biggest bite in history.
The colossal creature has been named after fossil hunter Kevan Sheehan, who described the honour as “a great day for Kevans all over the world”.
Mr Sheehan, a cafe owner, unearthed fragments of the creature’s 8ft-long skull after they fell from cliffs on the World Heritage Jurassic Coast in Dorset. It took him five years to collect the pieces during daily walks along the beach.
Every time he found a new fossil, he put it in his rucksack and hauled it to his clifftop home.
The largest piece weighed more than 12 stone and he believes his hobby cost him two knees and a hip.
Now his efforts have been officially acknowledged.
Mr Sheehan, 68, from Osmington, near Weymouth, said: “This has been a real labour of love for me, but it was all worth it.
“I guess it’s my legacy and it’s a great day for Kevans all over the world.”
The 60ft-long monster had a large head, short neck and a teardrop-shaped body.
Two sets of powerful flippers and a thrashing tail allowed it to rapidly propel itself through the water in pursuit of prey.
It weighed up to 12 tons and fed mainly on the dolphin-like ichthyosaur as well as vast quantities of squid. Although remains of other pliosaurs have been found before, the “Kevan-asaurus” is distinct enough to have been declared a new species.
Dr Roger Benson, of the University of Oxford’s earth science department, said: “This pliosaur was much larger and stronger than other pliosaurs and had more teeth.
“Its lower jaw was very long from front to back whereas other species of pliosaurs had shorter ones.
“Its teeth grew upwards and outwards compared to other pliosaurs’ teeth that went straight up.
“This discovery is very significant for British palaeontology.
“Several other pliosaurs have been found since the 1820s, but they are fragmentary compared to this one.”
Mr Sheehan sold his find to the county council for £10 000 (about R130 000).
The reconstructed skull, which is 95 percent complete, is now on display at Dorset County Museum in Dorchester. - Daily Mail