Bristol dinosaur find marked at Arnos Vale Cemetery

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A unique dinosaur skeleton unearthed in Bristol more than 175 years ago is being celebrated in the city.

In 1834 fossilised remains initially thought to be a reptile, were found on Durdham Downs by quarry workers.

But they were identified in 1836 as an entirely new species of dinosaur - thecodontosaurus - by geologists Samuel Stutchbury and Henry Riley.

Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol is marking the discovery and the work of Samuel Stutchbury, who is buried there.

The cemetery has teamed up with the Bristol Dinosaur Project to host a family day on 22 February and a public lecture on 24 February.

It's thought the thecodontosaurus - which means socket-toothed dinosaur - was washed into a limestone cave some 200-250 million years ago when the Bristol area was roamed by Triassic dinosaurs.

Some of the dinosaurs bones found in 1834 are now on display at Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery.

At the Arnos Vale events, people will be able to find out more about the dinosaur and the Bristolian scientist who discovered it.

Samuel Stutchbury was the curator of the Bristol Instition, which went on to become the city's museum, and a contemporary of Charles Darwin, to whom he lent fossils for study.

The February events are part of a series running throughout the year which mark the lives and achievements of people remembered or buried at the cemetery.

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit


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