A farmer in Australia was killing weeds on his property when he noticed what he thought were fossilized mussels.
Apparently thinking those were not very interesting at the time, he told the Brisbane Times that he continued on about his business. But a few minutes later, he thought he'd better get another look.
"I was out poisoning prickly Acacia and saw some objects shining in the distance," Robert Hacon, who lives in Queensland, told the newspaper. "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."
What he discovered was actually the jaw of a prehistoric sea monster known as Kronosaurus queenslandicus. The jaw itself was more than five feet long, originally belonging to an animal that reached up to 36 feet and lived up to 115 million years ago in what was then an inland sea, the Times reported.
"I've been looking for something like this all my life but never thought I'd find such an amazing fossil," Hacon said.
Dr. Timothy Holland with the Kronosaurus Korner Museum, a marine fossil museum in Australia, told the Times the fossil Hacon found is "the most complete mandible of a Kronosaurus queenslandicus in the world, with most other examples being weathered, crushed or incomplete."
"This is the real deal," he added.
Hacon donated the specimen to the museum where it will be displayed.
"It's a timely reminder of Australia's rich geoheritage and I marvel to think of what else lays waiting to be found," Holland told the Times.
According to the Queensland Museum, Kronosaurus, a pliosaurs, was a carnivore with large teeth.
Here's a look at the most complete Kronosaurus at Harvard's Museum of Natural History:
(H/T: Huffington Post)
Front page image via Shutterstock.