The innermost secrets of a colossal “sea monster” skull are being revealed by one of the UK’s most powerful CT scanners.
The X-rays are helping to build up a 3D picture of this ferocious predator, called a pliosaur, which terrorized the oceans 150m years ago.
The 2.4m-long (7.9ft) fossil skull was recently unearthed along the UK’s Jurassic coast, and is thought to belong to one of the biggest pliosaurs ever found.
The scans could establish if the giant is a species that is new to science.
Pliosaurs are aquatic reptiles belonging to the plesiosaur family. Paddle-like limbs would have powered their huge bulky bodies through the water, and they had enormous crocodile-like heads, packed full of razor-sharp teeth.
The skull, which was unearthed by a local fossil collector and then purchased by Dorset Country Council using Heritage Lottery Funds, would have belonged to one of the most fearsome beasts the seas have ever seen.
asured 10-16m (33-52ft) in length and weighed between seven and 12 tonnes.
The fossil, which comprises a lower jaw and upper skull, is currently being removed from its rocky casing by preparator Scott Moore-Fay.