A FOSSIL hunter has been filming with Sir David Attenborough after discovering a brand new species of ichthyosaur in Lyme Regis.

Chris Moore, who runs the Forge Fossils workshop in Charmouth, discovered the new species of “fish-lizard” on Monmouth Beach in January. Earlier this month, the renowned fossiler was able to extract the newly discovered creature and is currently working on it at his workshop.

Mr Moore’s discovery will feature in BBC Natural History’s one-hour special, Attenborough And The Giant Sea Dragon, which is due to be screened next year.

A large block of limestone fell onto the beach following the winter storms in January and Mr Moore noticed the block contained the creature’s two flippers.

He said: “When I was preparing them, I felt there was something quite different about them.

“You can never be 100 per cent sure it is a completely new species, but I’m probably about 95 or 96 per cent sure.

“I was able to get permission from the landowner and Natural England to find where it dropped from.

“My son went up and had a look and found it.”

Mr Moore was then allowed to extract the fossilised marine beast from the cliff, where it could have suffered damage from the elements or fallen onto the beach.

The fossil was transported on a pontoon back to the safety of the shore.

He added: “We mentioned it to David Attenborough and he said it would be great to come and have a look, and it went from there. We have spent the last two weeks filming and logging it up.”

Mr Moore is hoping his new discovery remains in Dorset, either at the Jurassica project on Portland or a new fossil museum in Charmouth.

He added: “There is an ambitious project for Portland, Jurassica, where I would really like to see it - otherwise, I would like to see a purpose-built fossil museum off the A35 in Charmouth.

“There is nothing here at the moment to show off Charmouth’s fossil connection, so it would be perfect.

“It has been very exciting, but also very draining. The work to extract the fossil is only a fraction of the effort that goes into it. We spend years looking for the things, but the real work begins when we get it back to the workshop.”

In Sir David’s one hour special, a perfect replica of the skeleton of Mr Moore’s discovery will be constructed before the creature’s physical attributes will be scientifically tested, with the help of CGI animation.