Additional images

Size matters

At just under 20cm long, this broken bone would probably have been about 35cm long when whole. This is a metacarpal (a toe bone) – so that makes for a very big animal indeed! It’s from a sauropod, one of the largest dinosaurs, with a long neck and tail, and four massive legs to support the weight of the body.

Sauropod footprints were discovered in Keats Quarry near Acton in 1997. The National Trust is currently working to make the site accessible for the public. Dinosaur footprints are very common compared to dinosaur bones, for which there is a very simple reason. Each dinosaur only had two or four legs but they made millions of footprints during their long lives – so there were far more footprints than bones.

Find out more on the reptiles page.

Common name


Scientific name



Vertebrates > Reptiles > Dinosaurs


Purbeck Limestone Group, Lower

Time period

Lower Cretaceous


142 million years

Where found

Bowers Quarry, Portland

Found by

Dale Brocklehurst, working for Albion Stone


Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number