‘Bones’ the plesiosaur

The recent ‘Sea Dragons of Avalon’ symposium in Street was a great success – congratulations to everyone involved. See Darren Naish’s blog Tetrapod Zoology for a full report – part 1 and part 2. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and it was an excellent opportunity to meet up with colleagues and even talk to some Plesiosaur News readers. We also had the opportunity to see plenty of fossil marine reptiles during the symposium and field trip,  hopefully I’ll be able to talk about some of these  soon. However, perhaps the most unusual marine reptile we encountered was not a fossil but a sculpture.

Charmouth bones plesiosaur

Because the scheduled field trip to the quarries surrounding Street was cancelled due to the British Summer weather, a trip to the Dorset Coast was organised at short notice instead. One of the places we visited was the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre and there, hanging from the ceiling is ‘Bones’, a plesiosaur skeleton constructed from cane, paper mache, black tissue paper and black paint. The skeleton is the result of an art project supervised by local artist Darrell Wakeham, who used the help of children visiting the centre to construct the life-sized plesiosaur during a winter weekend in 2007. I consider all anatomical inaccuracies excused.

Charmouth bones plesiosaur
Close up of the skull of ‘Bones’ the plesiosaur

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