Yorkshire dinosaurs: a history in two parts
Published:January 01, 2010
Martin A. Whyte, Mike Romano, Will Watts, 2010. "Yorkshire dinosaurs: a history in two parts", Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective, R. T. J. Moody, E. Buffetaut, D. Naish, D. M. Martill
Download citation file:
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.
Figures & Tables
Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective
The discovery of dinosaurs and other large extinct ‘saurians’—a term under which the Victorians commonly lumped ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs and their kin—makes exciting reading and has caught the attention of palaeontologists, historians of science and the general public alike. The papers in this collection go beyond the familiar tales about famous ‘fossil hunters’ and focus on relatively little-known episodes in the discovery and interpretation (from both a scientific and an artistic point of view) of dinosaurs and other inhabitants of the Mesozoic world. They cover a long time span, from the beginnings of ‘modern’ scientific palaeontology in the 1700s to the present, and deal with many parts of the world, from the Yorkshire coast to Central India, from Bavaria to the Sahara. The characters in these stories include professional palaeontologists and geologists (some of them well-known, others quite obscure), explorers, amateur fossil collectors, and artists, linked together by their interest in Mesozoic creatures.