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Storrs Loch Monster (Todd Marshall via University of Edinburg)

The fossil of an icthyosaur, the closest thing to the Loch Ness monster, has been revealed

Storrs Loch Monster (Todd Marshall via University of Edinburg)
Artist rendition of Storrs Loch Monster (Todd Marshall via University of Edinburg)

No, the Loch Ness monster isn't real. But this is. 

It's an artist rendering of an ichthyosaur. And an ancient fossil of it was unveiled in Scotland after 50 years in the dark, USA Today reports.

They were bigger, scarier and more fascinating than the myth of Nessie.
Steve Brusatte, University of Edinburgh

Ichthyosaurs were dolphin-sized aquatic reptiles that lived in the Middle Jurassic period, from about 176 million to 181 million years ago. 

This particular sample was found in Storr Lochs, Scotland, in 1966. The fossil was surprisingly intact but caked in stone. The man who found it, Norrie Gillies, died in 2011, USA Today reports.

It wasn't the sort of thing you kept in your backyard.
Allan Gillies, son of fossil finder Norrie Gillies

The fossil was kept in a storage facility for decades, and the stone would have been too expensive to remove. 

But when Allan Gillies, Norrie's son, heard about University of Edinburgh professor Steve Brusatte's research, he reached out. His employer, SSE, took care of the rock around the fossil, now nicknamed the "Storr Lochs Monster."

Speaking of fossils, scientists recently figured out how human ancestor "Lucy" probably died.

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