A well-preserved 130 million year old Swanage crocodile skull that was discovered on the Dorset coast in 2009 has been found to be a new species, according to scientists.
In April 2009 Richard Edmonds, the Earth Science Manager with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site Team discovered the crocodile species during regular site monitoring.
Edmonds excavated the fossil with the help of local collectors and preserved it in their workshop at Charmouth. They later passed it to Professor Mike Benton at Bristol University and his former PhD student, Marco Brandalise de Andrade, who measured and scanned the skull and checked it against previous discoveries, reported the Guardian.
"This is a pretty remarkable specimen. It's not crushed, it's in good condition and it's a new species," the Guardian quoted Benton as saying.
"This just goes to show the benefits of eternal vigilance even in these well-picked-over areas," he added.
The specimen has been given the name Goniopholis kiplini after Rudyard Kipling, author of "The Jungle Book." The specimen is now on display at Dorset County Museum.
Details of the discovery are reported in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.