Attenborosaurus Bakker, 1993
The original holotype specimen of Attenborosaurus, a nearly complete skeleton, was sadly destroyed along with some other plesiosaurs (e.g. 'Rhomaleosaurus' megacephalus) during the Blitz in the Second World War. At least three casts were made and survive today. One is on display in the Natural History Museum, London. There is also a damaged cast (specimen TCD.47763) in Trinity College, Dublin (Wyse Jackson, 2004), and a cast (with the head on backwards) in the Department of Earth Science, Oxford University.
Attenborosaurus is an unusual plesiosaur because it combines a long neck with a relatively large head. It is classified as a pliosaur in some classifications, but other classifications place it in a more basal position. The genus name was introduced for 'Plesiosaurus' conybeari, a species originally described by Sollas (1881). Palaeontologist Bob Bakker coined the new name to honour the esteemed wildlife documentarian David Attenborough.
Attenborosaurus conybeari (Sollas, 1881)
An almost complete skeleton. Holotype destroyed (see below). Casts include BMNH R1339 (Natural History Museum, London) and TCD.47763 (Trinity College, Dublin), and a specimen in Oxford University. Other material pertaining to Attenborosaurus includes a second partial skeleton (40140/R1360), also from Charmouth, on display in the Natural History Museum, London.
Age and Location
Sinemurian, Lower Jurassic, Charmouth, Dorset, England.