Plesiosaur

Massive sea monster

This is a superbly-preserved plesiosaur vertebra (backbone) complete with the neural arch. This would have been from a BIG animal, at least seven or eight metres in length. There is a hole between the round vertebra and the neural arch through which the spinal cord ran. The large extensions on the neural arch are attachment points for muscles that enabled the animal to flex its long neck and tail.

Find out more on the reptiles page.

Common name

Plesiosaur

Type

Vertebrates > Reptiles > Plesiosaurs


Strata

Kimmeridge Clay Formation

Time period

Upper Jurassic

Age

152 million years

Where found

West of Freshwater Steps, on a shore ledge in Egmont Bay, near Kingston

Found by

Collected and assembled by E M Samuel in 1963

Museum

Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number

DCM.G.00172