Utah Man Finds Fossilized 'Fish-Lizzard' In Reservoir

By Ginny Reese

October 6, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Thanks to a local boater with a keen eye, paleontologists were able to safely remove part of a fossilized marine reptile, reported 2 KUTV.

Alan Dailey, a local boater, was the first to spot the fossil. Dailey then got in contact with state paleontologists and sent photos of the fossil to them.

Experts found that Dailey had discovered the fossil forefin, vertebrae, and ribs on an animal known as an ichthyosaur, or "fish-lizard." Ichthyosaurs weren't dinosaurs, but marine reptiles that swam in the seas of the Mesozoic era.

Utah state parks commented on the find, stating that because Daily's find included almost a complete and articulated forefin, 10 ribs, and 19 vertebrate, it's one of the "better ichthyosaur specimens known from the state."

Musem curatator for the Utah Field House of Natural History, John Foster, said, "The ichthyosaur was found in sandstone that also preserved fossils of oysters and squid-like belemnoids (extinct creatures related to modern-day squids) that lived in the seaway at the same time."

It took a bit of time, but eventually professionals were able to wrestle the 400-pound section of sandstone from the shoreline.

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