Sauropod Bone Discovered on Cumbrian Coast

From time to time, amazing fossils and other objects are discovered on the shoreline of various parts of the United Kingdom.  It seems that prehistoric animal remains are not just found on the Jurassic coast of southern England as this press release from the Beacon Museum, Whitehaven in Cumbria explains.

A suspected dinosaur bone has been found on Whitehaven Beach by a dog walker. The small dog thought he had gone to heaven. Dog walker Pamela Martin said:

 “I heard my dog bark and he was digging at something. I couldn’t believe what ‘Snoot’ had dug up.  I said ‘You’re not taking that home with you!’’.

The eight foot long thigh bone has been identified from photographs by expert palaeontologist Dr David Gelsthorpe from Manchester Museum as perhaps a Cetiosauriscus, long-necked dinosaur.

One of the Beacon Museum Staff with the Dinosaur Bone

Picture Credit: Beacon Museum (Whitehaven)

The picture shows one of the museum staff, brushing away some of the surrounding material from the dinosaur bone.  From the size of the specimen our experts would suggest that it represents a bone from the hind limb, the thigh bone (femur).  A close examination of the sediment surrounding the fossil shows a number of footprint impressions left in the sand, clearly such a fossil find has attracted the attention of a number of leading scientists already – or is that evidence of dinoturbation that we can see?

The Beacon’s Curator, Charlotte Stead said:

“This fantastic find throws another angle to Copeland’s rich history”.

The bone has been discovered in good time to promote the Beacon’s summer blockbuster exhibition ‘BBC Walking With Dinosaurs’, which opens to the public from 11th June to 4th September.

An Illustration of the Long-necked Dinosaur Cetiosauriscus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dr. David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences at The Manchester Museum said,

“This is a fantastic discovery and all the more amazing because it was found in Cumbria. This Jurassic giant grew up to 15 metres long and would have roamed Cumbria around 175 million years ago. It is a truly astonishing find and is the furthest north Cetiosauriscus has ever been discovered. Cumbria is the place to watch for internationally important dinosaur discoveries”.

This is not the first time, a fossil bone from a Cetiosauriscus has been found in the United Kingdom.  In 2009, a fossilised femur ascribed to this particular long-necked, Jurassic herbivore was discovered in Gloucestershire.

To read more about that discovery: Cetiosauriscus Leg Bone Found in Gloucestershire Quarry

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that today’s discovery made April 1st a day to remember in the long history of dinosaur discoveries in the United Kingdom.

And a happy April Fool’s Day from everyone at The Beacon, Whitehaven!

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