Scientists have found 180-million-year-old blubber from a true sea monster, the ancient ichthyosaur, according to the BBC. The fossilized specimen is very well-preserved, and it’s already answering some questions about this Jurassic-era sea creature.
The discovery has led scientists to confirm that the ichthyosaur was warm-blooded, which is rare in reptiles. The ichthyosaur had skin somewhat like that of modern dolphins and whales and did not have scales. The skin recovered with the recent find still has some of the camouflage patterns these ancient creatures developed to swim stealthily through the water.
Ichthyosaurs share many traits with modern dolphins and share some characteristics with sea turtles. The specimen came from the Urweltmuseum Hauff in Germany. It was discovered in the Holzmaden quarry, where several other well-preserved Jurassic Period fossils have been found.
Remnants of internal organs and the body outline is clearly visible in the fossil, according to scientists.