A farmer in Australia has uncovered the jawbone of a Kronosaurus, one of the most complete fossils that has ever been uncovered of an ancient sea monster which lived over 100 million years ago.
Robert Hacon, from northern Queensland, made the astonishing discovery while tending to weeds on his property, according to the Telegraph. As a local drought killed off grass in the region, the Kronosaurus fossil, a five-foot-long jawbone, slowly became visible. Hacon recalled that while driving, he observed an unknown object shining in the distance.
“At first glance I thought they were fossilized mussel shells, so I drove away. Ten minutes later my curiosity got the better of me and I turned back. I jumped out of my buggy and cast my eyes upon these enormous pieces of bone. I thought to myself ‘my gosh, what have I got!'”
Farmer finds intact jaw of Kronosaurus dinosaur in outback Queensland @Kate__Stephens http://t.co/Dn8jdYGELN pic.twitter.com/lhcWtAWdu9
— ABC News Brisbane (@ABCNewsBrisbane) April 20, 2015
The Kronosaurus queenslandicus was an imposing 11-meter-long sea monster that lived over 100 million years ago, according to the ABC. A marine reptile with a crocodile-like head, the Kronosaurus propelled itself along with powerful flippers. While the fossil that Hacon uncovered measures 1.6 meters in length, Dr. Tim Holland, curator of the Kronosaurus Korner Museum, explained that a fully grown adult would have a jaw measuring 2.6 meters. Citing the complete nature of the newly discovered jawbone, he noted that the find is highly unusual.
“It pretty much gives us the first really good, accurate idea of what a Kronosaurus jaw looks like,” he explained. “It was the most complete Kronosaurus mandible in the world.”
Though the fossil has been put on display at the museum, Holland noted that he is midway through writing a scientific paper detailing the jawbone, from which he has gleaned previously unknown information.
“The jaws of the Kronosaurus was approximately twice the power of a large saltwater crocodile and we know from fossilized stomach content associated with other Kronosaurus specimens that the animals ate turtles, sharks and giant squids. The front section of the lower jaw has these really amazing long grooves that would accommodate teeth overhanging from the upper jaw. This hasn’t really been well described before in any of the scientific literature so that is really exciting.”
Though astonishing, the Kronosaurus jawbone isn’t the only ancient relic to be recently discovered. As the Inquisitr previously reported, a road crew in China uncovered a treasure trove of fossilized dinosaur eggs earlier this week, and several dozen were completely intact.
Existing during the Lower Cretaceous period, the Kronosaurus dominated the inland sea that characterized Australia at the time. With a jaw larger than the skull of a T. Rex and teeth the size of bananas, the Kronosaurus represented a true sea monster of the ancient world.
[Image via Shutterstock]