Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Dinosaur skeleton to be rebuilt

Dinosaur being excavated
Scientists are planning to completely reconstruct the dinosaur's skeleton

Dinosaur bones which have been entombed in rock for more than 210 million years are to finally be extracted and constructed into a complete skeleton.

The rocks containing the fossilised remains of the Thecondontosaurus Antiquus were found in a quarry in South Gloucestershire in the 1970s.

Scientists at the University of Bristol are planning to remove the rock to reveal the bones within.

The project was made possible by a £295,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

About 500 bones were found at Tytherington quarry in the 1970s.

The university said they were the oldest dinosaur remains found in the UK and one of the oldest found anywhere in the world.

Lottery grant to help rescue dino

The remains of another dinosaur from the same species - the so-called "Bristol Dinosaur" - were discovered at Durdham Downs in Bristol in 1834.

But these were destroyed when the museum where they were held was damaged during a bombing raid in World War Two.

Professor Mike Benton, from the University of Bristol, said: "This award from HLF will mean that the preparation laboratory can be expanded and a specialist technician employed to oversee the removal of bones from the rock.

"It will also mean more volunteers can be recruited and trained in the extraction process and there will be opportunities for young people from local schools to learn skills in palaeontology and conservation."

Thecodontosaurus antiquus was a plant-eating kangaroo-sized creature which lived on vegetated islands during the Triassic period.

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