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Abstract

Evidence of dinosaurs in Yorkshire is largely confined to the Middle Jurassic Ravenscar Group (Aalenian–Bathonian) and consists of both skeletal material and trace fossils. The oldest record is of unfigured limb elements, recorded by Williamson in 1837 and ascribed by Owen to Cetiosaurus, but they have not been more recently described. There are no other published records of dinosaur bone from the Ravenscar Group until 2003, when Romano and Whyte recorded recent discoveries including a sauropod caudal vertebra, ribs, disarticulated pectoral and limb elements. Non-dinosaurian skeletal material includes crocodile, turtle and fish.

In contrast, dinosaur tracks are extremely abundant in the Ravenscar Group. Although some may have been observed around 1895, the first definite identification of dinosaur tracks was by Brodrick in 1907. A modern resurgence in interest began about 1970 when Sarjeant first formally named a track from Yorkshire. Subsequent publications have amply documented the abundance and diversity of dinosaur tracks within the Ravenscar Group. In 1995 the first new ichnotaxon from Yorkshire, Deltapodus brodricki, was described; this was followed by the recognition of sauropod tracks and swimming tracks. There are scattered records of dinosaur bone from other marine units in the Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous. The Yorkshire records are of great international significance, especially in the Middle Jurassic where there is a dearth of material from other areas.

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