Dinosaur toe bone found in Doncaster to return home to Scarborough after 50 years

By Culture24 Reporter | 09 April 2014

A dinosaur discovery in Doncaster will see a sauropod settle back in Scarborough after a 50-year sojourn

A photo of people holding a stone dinosaur fossil outside a museum
The Scarborough sauropod has been rediscovered in Doncaster© Doncaster Museum Service
A toe bone of a sauropod, collected as one of two metatarsals on a Scarborough beach nearly 200 years ago, has returned to the North Yorkshire town’s Woodend Museum – half a century after it was lent to Doncaster Museum without any paperwork.

A photo of a large stone fossil from a dinosaur foot
No illustrations or sufficiently detailed descriptions of the White Nab bones exist, making their identification difficult© Doncaster Museum Service
Found during the 1830s at White Nab, south of Scarborough, the bone part was donated to the Rotunda Museum in 1837 by William Crawford Williamson, a local naturist whose discovery was the fifth documented record of dinosaur remains in England.

It has been in the Doncaster collection without a formal loan agreement since 1964, but was identified as a missing specimen by Dean Lomax, an assistant curator of palaeontology who will include the artefact in a new book, Dinosaurs of the British Isles, which will be published later this year.

"The rediscovery of this sauropod metatarsal bone is very significant,” said Dr Philip Mannion, an expert in sauropod dinosaurs at Imperial College London.

“Dinosaur remains from the Yorkshire coast are very rare, especially from this time interval.”

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