When dinosaurs roamed the earth - especially Sunderland

Sunday, January 1, 2012

dinosaur fossils

At least one sensible iguanodon may have paid a call on Wearside 130 million years ago.

They are billing it as a mystery but if I were an iguanodon I would head for Sunderland like a shot.

The city has lovely beaches nearby, fine stretches of river not far up the Wear and lots of greenery reaching right into its heart.

There's also the Stadium of Light, a fab winter gardens complex and three very lively women MPs. Stir in the recently-retired Chris Mullin and you have an excellent place to live, work, raise a family – or just be an iguanodon.

Why the dinosaur thing? For this reason. A pensioner in Sunderland was grubbing out some tree roots in his garden when he found this rum-looking bone. He did the right thing and took it to the City Museum where they identified it as a dinosaur's vertebra.

The British Museum has had a look since and say that they are right; and now all the mystery stuff begins. The rocks underlying Sunderland are much too old to have contained dinosaur relics, and there is little evidence - actually none – of Iguanodons venturing this far north.

The nearest they got was some 300 miles south, in East Sussex and that part of the world, according to Sylvia Humphrey, keeper of geology at Tyne and Wear archives. She says:

It's really quite a puzzle as to how the bone got there. Dinosaur bones are younger than the rocks of this area, as this region is on the Permian strata, which is 250 million years old. The Iguanodons from Sussex lived 120-105 million years later.

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit rareresource.com.


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