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In praise of - TYRANNONEUSTES LYTHRODECTIKOS.

WHAT'S not to love about a beastie whose Latin name translates as "blood-biting tyrant swimmer"?

Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos – it takes several attempts just to count the syllables (10 for those of you taking notes) – trauchled aboot the joint 163 million years ago and, as the name suggests, other beasties were better staying out of his way.

He was recently identified as a new species of marine super-predator, from parts of his skeleton held at Glasgow's Hunterian museum. The beastie had pointed, serrated teeth and a large gaping jaw, and belonged to a group of crocodiles that were similar to dolphins, only without the charm.

Experts led by the University of Embra believe the remains can help us understand how marine reptiles were evolving back in the Middle Jurassic era.

Found in 1907 in Peterborough, Englandshire, little research had been carried out on the specimen since it was first listed in 1919. But, as Dr Neil Clark of the Hunterian says: "It is comforting to know that new species can still be found in museums as new research is carried out on old collections."

Not just a new species, but a new genus. And that, as Dr Clark told yon BBC, is "like finding a whole new type of human being".

It's amazing how new information about dinosaurs and their ilk keeps coming forth, with every week bringing new assessments of how they ran or in what key they warbled.

T lythrodectikos would have swum in warmer waters than wash up on what is Britainshire today. His gub suggests he wasn't vegetarian and he scoffed fairly large prey, perhaps even his own size.

Blood-slurping tyrant indeed and, as such, we support his indefatigability in still making the news 163m years after first making a splash.

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