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Mr Lomax worked with Prof Judy Massare, from the State University of New York, comparing the specimen's fossilised bones with those of almost 1,000 other ichthyosaurs in museums in the US and Europe.
Mr Lomax explained that subtle anatomical features in its fin bones set the species apart from others
This new species has now been named Ichthyosaurus anningae - in honour of Mary Anning, the British fossil-hunter who discovered the first ichthyosaur on the Dorset coast in about 1811.
The hope now is that news about the significance of this ancient specimen might help track down the fossil hunter who found it.
Dr Stephen Brusatte, a palaeontologist from the University of Edinburgh added that there was "a whole lot more still to find out there".