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The Loch Ness Monster is real only if....


It's fairly clear-cut at this point that the Loch Ness Monster doesn’t exist. All the sightings that got people interested in the first place have been revealed as hoaxes, and extensive study of the lake has revealed no ecosystem that could support a large creature like Nessie. In the distant past, there may really have been a monster in what would one day become Loch Ness. Scientists have finally started to study the fossil of an ancient Scottish sea creature decades after it was discovered.
The fossil was discovered by a power company worker on the Isle of Skye in 1966. It was clear from the start this fossil was something special. The vertebrae were exposed, jutting out from the shoreline. It was the most complete marine reptile skeleton ever found in Scotland, but the technology didn’t exist to study it in detail. The creature, dubbed the Storr Lochs Monster, was encased in hard rock that make it impossible to remove safely. The entire fossil — rock shell and all — was transported to a local museum to await further study.
Scotland doesn’t have many experts on marine fossils, but a critical mass of interest has finally built up. Work is starting to remove the layers of rock from the Storr Lochs Monster using modern techniques so a proper examination can be made. It’s going to take some time, but several things are already known. The creature appears to be a species of ichthyosaur, a marine reptile that looked a bit like a giant dolphin with a mouth full of sharp teeth. The Storr Lochs Monster would have been the size of a small boat when it was alive.
It’s not clear yet if this animal will turn out to be a new species or just a very complete example of an already known ichthyosaur. However, considering the area it was found in, scientists are betting on a new species. The Storr Lochs Monster lived about 170 million years ago in the mid-Jurassic era. This was a period of rapid evolutionary shifts, and the hope is this fossil could help fill in some of the gaps.
* Vocab:
- clear-cut (adj): apparent, obvious, easy to understand.
e.g.: She has yet to give the clear-cut response to my question.
- reveal as hoaxes (v) /həʊks/: make known as deceit or deception.
- an extensive study (n): a careful and detailed study from a wide range of information.
- in the distant past (exp): quite a long time ago.
- jut out from something (v) /dʒʌt/: protrude, or stick out.
e.g.: some nice oyster shells jutted out from the sand.
- be encased in something (Passive) /ɪnˈkeɪst/: be covered with something to have a good protection.
e.g.: his 1970 motorbike has been encased in the cloth for 3 years straight. 
- mass of interest (exp): an activity that attracts much attention from someone.
e.g.: the fireworks on Vietnam Independent Day drew every living soul's interest.
ichthyo (n) /ˈɪkθɪəʊ/: fishlike.
- sauros (n): lizardlike.
- be betting on something (v): hope something will happen.
e.g.: Most of brokers are betting on the housing interest rates plunging by 20%.

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