Man stumbles upon jaws of killer creature that roamed seas 200 million years ago

A fossil hunter was left stunned after he stumbled upon the jaws of a killer creature that roamed the seas 200 million years ago.

A leading expert has confirmed the Jurassic jawbone found by Mark Kemp, 34, belonged to a Temnodontosaurus, one of the larger species of an ichthyosaur, a type of marine reptile.

Based on the jaw and size of the teeth, it is estimated the beast had a two-metre-long skull and was at least 40ft long in total, Hull Live reports.

Mark, who spent a painstaking 120 hours preparing the fossils, said: "I found it with my friend, two or three months ago.

"It's very rare to find something like this in East Yorkshire and to my knowledge, it's the very first one of its kind.

"The teeth are huge, you don't hear much about that kind of thing being found. Some of the collectors I've shown it to, none of them have seen teeth this big."

Leading marine reptile palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax told Mark the fossil was 'one of the best examples of this species to come from Yorkshire'.

The name Temnodontosaurus derives from the Greek for 'cutting-tooth lizard'.

The species had large eyes which, at approximately 20cm (7.9 in) in diameter, are thought to be the largest of any known animal.

It is believed to have roamed the deeper seas of the open ocean.

Temnodontosaurus was an apex predator which hunted extinct marine molluscs known as ammonites and is also thought to have fed on vertebrates too.

It could close its jaws with over three tonnes of force – twice as much bite force as a modern-day saltwater crocodile.

Mark, who has introduced to fossil hunting eight years ago, has turned his passion into a living and has a garage full of fossils.

He has a special workshop in his home in Hull, East Yorks., where he carefully prepares fossils found and sent in by people, improving their appearance and helping preserve them.

He also runs Instagram and YouTube accounts, titled 'The Yorkshire Fossil Hunter', where he videos his fossil hunting exploits.

And he said the fossil, which he found between Mappleton and Cowden on the Yorkshire coast, is staying in his collection.

He added: "I have emailed some museums about displaying it for six weeks or so.

"But otherwise, I'll keep it. It was getting on for 120 hours preparing it, so a real labour of love."

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