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Article Date: 3rd July 2017

Wienerberger - Land before Time: Dinosaur Remains found at Wienerberger Factory in Ewhurst

Dinosaur Remains - Iguanodon Dinosaur - Wienerberger Factory - Clay Bricks

Wienerberger - Jamie Jordan and Sarah Moore

The bones of a dinosaur have been discovered at the Wienerberger factory in Ewhurst, Surrey by palaeontologists Jamie Jordan and Sarah Moore.

Whilst visiting the factory in February, Jamie and Sarah discovered a block of compacted clay that had formed a hard boulder. After splitting it open, they discovered layers of associate bones that lead them to believe there was more to find. Wienerberger, the UK’s leading provider of wall, roof and landscaping innovations, was alerted of the discovery and gave permission for palaeontologists to excavate the bones and begin the process of uncovering the species and background of the creature.

The excavation process, which began in February, took four weeks in total. A group of volunteers aided in extracting the blocks, where the bones were buried, to carefully get them ready to be transported back to the Fossils Galore centre in Cambridgeshire, located in March, Cambridgeshire. By the end of the process, the team had excavated seven blocks full of bones from the Wienerberger quarry to be cleaned, analysed and ultimately preserved.

After closer examination, it was confirmed that the bones are the remains from a type of Ornithopod, plant eating dinosaur. The Iguanodon dinosaur, an herbivore that lived during the Cretaceous period, 132 million years ago would have been three metres tall, 10 metres and weighed 4.5 tons (the equivalent of an African Elephant); it would have been prey for one of England’s biggest predators, Baryonyx, a relative of Spinosaurus. The Fossils Galore centre has named her Indie and continues to work on the blocks in their preparation laboratory to expose more bones and piece them together.

Jamie Jordan, Owner of Fossils Galore, said: "The extraction process wasn’t easy. Indie was hidden inside huge compacted clay blocks and was on a slope, making the process difficult at times. However, due to the hard work of the Fossils Galore volunteers, we were able to extract and transport the remains to our preparation lab where we continue to work on her today.

"We’ve created a fish bowl lab – a first in the UK – so that people can come and watch as we dust and analyse the findings, as well as asking the experts all about Indie and how she would have lived. Fossils Galore also has a display of living fossil plants in the back area so people can see the sort of things Indie would have eaten. We’re truly excited about what these findings can tell us about our history. We’re thankful to the Wienerberger team for all the support they’ve given to us throughout this project."

Stephanie Palmer, Sustainability Manager at Wienerberger, commented: "A discovery such as this is extremely exciting for everyone involved. Not only does it provide a fantastic insight into the world that came before us but it’s also a terrific opportunity for palaeontologists and the scientific community. Finding a skeleton like Indie could shed more light onto the creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago and progress the studies into the prehistoric world. The Wienerberger team is committed to preserving our heritage, so was more than happy to support with this exceptional find."

Indie is now on display for the public to view as Jamie and Sarah, along with their team of experts continue to uncover more of her skeleton whilst answering questions about how she would have lived.

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