Dinosaur skeleton discovered under Surrey brick factory

Near-complete fossilised skeleton of 132m-year-old creature, believed to be an Iguanodon, has been taken to special laboratory for further investigation

The near-complete fossilised skeleton of a dinosaur, thought to have lived about 132m years ago, has been unearthed at a brick factory in Surrey.

Paleontologists say they discovered the bones during a routine visit to the site of the Wienerberger quarry in February. The first clues came when the team looked at rock that had been turned up by a bulldozer at the site and discovered a couple of tail vertebrae.

Examining where the rock came from, the team struck gold. “We came across this big rock of the same colour and the same type, jutting out of the side of the slope and we saw a black-coloured bone sticking out, said Jamie Jordan, a self-taught palaeontologist and founder of Fossils Galore, a website and museum.

“I looked to the left and I saw a big black bone sticking out of a bit of rock that had been chipped off by the bulldozers,” he added.

Sarah Moore and Jamie Jordan.
Sarah Moore and Jamie Jordan with their ‘mega-rare’ discovery. Photograph: Ilk Agency

Splitting open the rock in the side of the slope, Jordan and his colleague Sarah Moore realised they were on to something big. “It had bone after bone after bone,” said Jordan. “We looked at each other and said, ‘We have got a dinosaur!’”.

The discovery, he said, was startling. “It’s mega-rare. It’s been years since a near-complete skeleton has been found in the UK.”

The dinosaur, dubbed Indie, is believed to be an Iguanodon: a plant-eating creature that reached about 10 metres in length and just under three metres in height.

Jordan said the blocks in which the bones are resting have been removed from the site and are being investigated and cleaned in a specially designed preparation laboratory at the museum, where the public can see the process at work. “We haven’t found the skull just yet, but how the animal is lying, it is in one of the blocks from the dig site,” said Jordan. “We should come across it – we don’t think there is much missing at all.”

Once complete, says Jordan the fossils will be put on show, with casts taken so a reconstruction of the skeleton can be made.

While it is not clear how the dinosaur died, Jordan said there are tantalising clues, including evidence of bite marks and healing from the bones, and the discovery of theropod footprints in the rocks. “There is a predator-prey relationship there somewhere,” he said.


Nicola Davis

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Dinosaur footprints found on Skye
Tracks of meat-eating dinosaurs found on Scottish island, shedding light on behaviours during Middle Jurassic period

Nicola Davis

03, Apr, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
Oldest known case of dandruff found in 125m-year-old dinosaur
Scientists have discovered fossilised dandruff on the skin of a feathered microraptor

Ian Sample Science editor

25, May, 2018 @2:05 PM

Article image
World's largest dinosaur footprints discovered in Western Australia
Newly-discovered prints left by gigantic herbivores are part of a rich collection of tracks belonging to an estimated 21 different types of dinosaur

Hannah Devlin and agencies

28, Mar, 2017 @2:08 PM

Article image
'Bizarre' Jurassic dinosaur discovered in remarkable new find
Chilesaurus diegosuarezi belongs to the theropod group of dinosaurs, which includes tyrannosaurs, but was vegetarian and has other curious features

Ian Sample, science editor

27, Apr, 2015 @3:25 PM

Article image
Dinosaurs had feathers ruffled by parasites, study finds
Ancient pieces of amber found to contain dinosaur feathers riddled with louse-like insects

Nicola Davis

10, Dec, 2019 @4:00 PM

Article image
Oldest fossil of bird's voicebox gives new hint at soundscape of the Cretaceous
66m-year-old syrinx of Vegavis iaai suggests that creature could honk and quack and confirms some modern bird groups lived alongside the dinosaurs

Nicola Davis

12, Oct, 2016 @5:00 PM

Article image
Archaeopteryx 'flew in bursts like a pheasant', scientists say
The winged Late Jurassic creature would take to the air in frenetic, flapping bounds, fossil x-rays show

Ian Sample Science editor

13, Mar, 2018 @6:03 PM

Article image
New species of 'weird bird'-like dinosaur discovered in China
Named Tongtianlong limosus - which means “muddy dragon on the road to heaven” - the dinosaur appears to have died after getting stuck in the mud

Nicola Davis

10, Nov, 2016 @2:00 PM

Article image
Natural History Museum to start dinosaur dig in US
Project Mission Jurassic will excavate land in Wyoming where brachiosaurus and diplodocus have been unearthed

Hannah Devlin

25, Mar, 2019 @3:00 PM

Article image
Radical shakeup of dinosaur family tree points to unexpected Scottish origins
Cat-sized Scottish fossil proposed as candidate for common dinosaur ancestor in controversial study that could overthrow a century of dinosaur classification

Hannah Devlin Science correspondent

22, Mar, 2017 @6:02 PM