The Abingdon Sea Monster
A talk by leading palaeontology expert Professor Dave Martill of the University of Portsmouth
While dinosaurs roamed the Jurassic landscape, Abingdon was submerged beneath a treacherous sea. One denizen of this deep was Pliosaurus, a ferocious marine reptile that truly can be called a prehistoric monster. With a crocodile-like skull and a smile of dagger-like teeth, its strong, but short neck allowed it to twist and thrash its prey to pieces. Its barrel-shaped body was propelled through the water by four gigantic flippers. A fully grown individual was at least twenty metres long, and it weighed several tons. It ate ichthyosaurs and its close relatives, the long-necked plesiosaurs, as well as any number of gigantic fishes and squid. For around ten million years Pliosaurus was Europe’s largest predator.