Loch Ness Monster bombshell: Creature's existence ‘plausible’ after major fossil discovery

The University of Bath have found fossils of small plesiosaurs in a 100-million-year-old river system that is now in Morocco’s Sahara Desert, suggesting they lived in freshwater. Loch Ness Monster believers have long claimed that the historic Scottish folklore could be a prehistoric reptile.

Sightings of the beast have hinted that Nessie could have a long neck and small head – similar to a plesiosaur.

But skeptics have argued that plesiosaurs could not have lived with the Loch Ness Monster because they needed a saltwater environment. 

However, the university’s latest findings have challenged this, as fossils show plesiosaurs could have lived in freshwater. 

A plesiosaur vertebrae was one of several fossils found by the research team in the river system.

The fossils included bones and teeth from a 9.8ft (3m) long adult and an arm bone from a 4.9ft (1.5m) baby. 

This discovery hints that they could have lived alongside frogs, crocodiles, turtles, fish, and the aquatic dinosaur Spionsaurus in freshwater conditions.

Dave Martill, Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Bath, said: “What amazes me is that the ancient Moroccan river contained so many carnivores all living alongside each other.

“This was no place to go for a swim.”

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The creature had a long neck, small head and four flippers and was nicknamed “near lizard” due to its similarities to the reptiles.

Its link to the Loch Ness Monster was first made by Arthur Grant, a veterinary student, who claimed to have nearly hit the creature on his motorcycle in January 1934 and described it as a cross between a seal and plesiosaur.

A press release from the University of Bath said the new discovery showed that the Loch Ness Monster was “on one level, plausible”.

“Plesiosaurs weren’t confined to the seas, they did inhabit freshwater,” the release added, but also pointed out that the fossil record still showed that plesiosaurs had died out at the same time as the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.

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