Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Real Portland Sea Dragon

A skull belonging to one of the largest sea monsters ever found has recently gone on show at Dorset County Museum in Dorchester. The pliosaur lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and was a terrifyingly huge creature, like an enormous crocodile. Scientist can estimate from the size of the skull that the creature would have been 15 to 18 metres long. The skull was found near Weymouth, Dorset, a few years ago.

Palaeontologist Richard Forrest said of the skull: "This is an iconic specimen - one of the most exciting we have seen in years. It was probably the most fearsome predator that ever lived. Standing in front of the skull you can imagine this enormous beast staring straight back at you, fixing you with its binocular vision, and attacking. Just thinking about it raises the hairs on the back of your neck."

I have been following this story with great interest - my story The Portland Sea Dragon was inspired by a local legend, the Chesil Beach sea monster (the Veasta, as it is often called), and also by the real archaeological evidence of the pliosaur found nearby.


  1. Saw this up at the museum last weekend and was chatting with the scientist who has been doing all the research on it. Absolutely fascinating how they can learn so much about the beastie and it's behaviour and how it hunted just from a skull!

  2. I'm looking forward to having a look at it myself. Its an amazing find. Good to see you in Dorchester rain yesterday, Kate. Daughters are all frantically packing up for Devon today, lovely weather forecast for them....