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Loch Ness Fossil?

There is new evidence in the search for the Loch Ness Monster. A fossil of a giant "sea monster" has been discovered on an Arctic island. This doesn't explain how it might have gotten to Scotland, but it does show that such creatures did once exist.

In BBC News, Paul Rincon quotes Paleontologist Angela Milner as saying, "One hundred and fifty million years ago, Svalbard [the island on which the fossils were discovered] was not so near the North Pole, there was no ice cap and the climate was much warmer than it is today."

It appears to be a fossil of a plesiosaur, which were a group of extinct reptiles that lived in oceans during the age of the dinosaurs. Ricon quotes researcher Richard Forrest as saying, "Even in classic fossil exposures such as you have in Dorset [in England], there are cliffs eroding over many years and every so often something pops up. But we haven't had 40 plesiosaurs from Dorset in 200 years."

He quotes Norwegian explorer Jorn Hurum as saying, "A large pliosaur was big enough to pick up a small car in its jaws and bite it in half." So if Nessie is still around, we wouldn't want to meet her!

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