Lucky Collyer’s A-level Geology students visited Summers Place Auctions near Billingshurst last week, to study a 17m long Jurassic Diplodocus called “Misty” prior to auction.
The 150 million year old dinosaur was excavated several years ago in Wyoming, USA.
Geology students study dinosaur evolution as part of their second year and to be able to study one just a few miles from the college was an opportunity not to be missed. At 17 metres long the Diplodocus was actually only a teenager, as adults grew to almost 29m in length! These ancient Sauropods roamed North America for millions of years and are one of the most iconic of all the dinosaurs.
Collyer’s Head of Geology and Senior Tutor, Roger Birch, said: “My students spend 4 weeks studying the evolution and adaptive features of different dinosaurs and they were amazed at the sheer scale of the Diplodocus. To stand beneath the skeleton really brought home just how massive and spectacular the animal was!”
Roger and his students were given kindly special permission by the Director of Summers Place, James Rylands, to have a private viewing before the general public. The students spent over an hour studying the dinosaur and numerous other rare and interesting fossils that were also in the auction.
Roger Birch added: “Many argue that Sussex is actually the birth place of dinosaur study, as in 1822 the world’s first dinosaur bones were found in a quarry at Whitemans Green near Cuckfield. These fossil bones were identified as belonging to an Iguanodon dinosaur. Fossilized dinosaur footprints have been found in a Horsham Stone quarry near Broadbridge Heath, along with dinosaur poo called coprolite.”
Collyer’s Principal Dr Jackie Johnston said: “We are extremely grateful to James Rylands and Summer Place Auctions for giving our geologists this tremendous opportunity.”
Report and picture contributed by Collyer’s.