English sauropod fossil discovery

The dinosaur's 1.4 metre leg bone was in hundreds of piecesFrom the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard in England:

New Sauropod dinosaur species may have been discovered in Cotswold Water Park

2:00pm Tuesday 27th October 2009

By Andy Woolfoot

A NEW species of dinosaur bone is believed to have been discovered at the Cotswold Water Park.

The fossilised remains of a giant plant-eating Sauropod dinosaur identified as Cetiosauriscus was uncovered during the restoration of a site which had been quarried by Hanson Aggregates.

Only a few bones of this type of dinosaur have ever been found in Britain and analysis of the bone indicates that it could belong to a group of Dinosaurs whose remains are very rarely found in the UK.

The Cetiosauriscus inhabited Northern Europe during the Middle Jurassic period 168 million years ago.

Several hundred pieces of bone, which were unearthed from the edge of a drainage ditch by palaeontologist Dr Neville Hollingworth, have been painstakingly pieced together over the last six months to form a giant 1.4m long leg bone.

Dr Hollingworth had to sift through several tons of clay to rescue the bones before the site was flooded.

He said: “There was a point when I wondered if I would recover all the pieces in time – although it took me over a week to get everything out of the ground it was worth it for such an exciting find.”

He added that it was most likely that the leg bone belonged to a Sauropod – the group of long-necked plant-eaters that includes the diplodocus.

“Such discoveries of dinosaur bones of this size are extremely rare because most of Britain was covered by the sea during the Jurassic period of geological time,” Dr Hollingworth continued.

“It may have fallen to the sea floor from a rotting carcass. The animal would have been almost 20m (65ft) long.

“What is most interesting is how the bone ended up in the Oxford Clay which is a marine deposit.

“The chances are that the land living animal was swept into the sea, perhaps by a flood where the carcass was eaten by scavengers. ”

Despite diligent searching no other bones of this giant reptile were found.

The Sauropod leg bone will be on display at the Fossil Fest, a family event being organised by the Cotswold Water Park Society on Sunday at the Four Pillars Hotel, South Cerney.

ScienceDaily (Mar. 31, 2010) — The skull of a juvenile sauropod dinosaur [Diplodocus], rediscovered in the collections of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History, illustrates that some sauropod species went through drastic changes in skull shape during normal growth: here.

Paul Sereno – Dinosaurs: Phylogenetic reconstruction from Darwin to the present [Pharyngula]: here.

Darwin and dinosaurs: here.

2 thoughts on “English sauropod fossil discovery

  1. Pingback: Five-year-old girl discovers 160-million-year-old fossil | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Britain’s oldest dinosaur discovered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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