The fossilised remains of Britain’s largest ichthyosaur, colloquially known as a ‘Sea Dragon’, has been uncovered at Rutland Water Nature Reserve. 

It is the biggest and most complete skeleton of its kind found in the UK and it is also thought to be the first ichthyosaur of its species (called Temnodontosaurus trigonodon) found in the country.

The Sea Dragon was discovered by Joe Davis, Rutland Water Conservation Team Leader, back in February 2021.

Joe and Reserves Officer Paul Trevor noticed what looked like clay pipes sticking up out of the mud.

Joe Davis, said: “they looked organic. I worked out on the Hebrides, so I’ve found whale and dolphin skeletons before. This appeared similar and I remarked to Paul that they looked like vertebrae. We followed what indisputably looked like a spine and Paul discovered something further along that could have been a jawbone. We couldn’t quite believe it.”