Last night on New Year's Day, viewers across the nation tuned in to watch David Attenborough’s latest documentary about the discovery of a new pliosaur skull.

Attenborough and the Sea Monster unearthed the secrets about a prehistoric sea monster whose 150-million-year-old skull was found on a beach near Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset.

The documentary followed the discovery, excavation, and restoration of the find, combining CGI and expert scientific insight to bring this new species of pliosaur to life.

READ MORE: Dorset fossil subject of David Attenborough documentary

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The pliosaur skull

The documentary was well received by critics with one review from the Guardian describing it as “possibly the most deeply joyous show ever made.”

Dorset residents have taken to social media to share their excitement with the find being so close to home.

Twitter user Mike Robinson (@MikeRob66) said: “Thoroughly enjoyed that from the BBC watching the Pliosaur’s skull emerge from the cliff face. Absolutely fascinating and all on my doorstep.”

Praise flooded in from our readership, with Facebook users describing it as “fantastic” and “absolutely amazing.”

"Brilliant . .I just find it fascinating that it was in our waters off Dorset when you see how high it was it's even more mind boggling all those millions of yrs ago and was encased in all that rock truly brilliant. Love DA," another local reader commented.

Weymouth councillor Matt Bell added: “I am in awe of the team that dedicated themselves to uncovering such an incredible animal.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Others commended the excavation team for their hard work.

“How incredible was that?! How dangerous and clever the removal was. How magnificent the skull is. All that work @TEC_Kimmeridge #AttenboroughAndTheGiantSeaMonster,” read one Tweet.

Another viewer said: “This programme on the #giantseamonster is fascinating. To find a fossil from an animal 150 million years ago and how they restored it is mind blowing #davidattenborough”

Fellow palaeontologists have also offered their praise to the documentary. Dr Dean Lomax (@Dean_R_Lomax) said: “An enormous amount of work went into rescuing, cleaning, and bringing this discovery to life. I hope many people will visit @tec_kimmeridge to see this Jurassic giant.”

Sharing his excitement, Prof Paul Barrett (@NHMdinolab) commented: "Congratulations to @TEC_Kimmeridge on such a stunning find and getting it on display so quickly! I look forward to seeing it described in the detail it clearly deserves.”

The documentary is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer: