Scottish Dinosaurs

Dugald Ross with part of Scotland's Sauropod Bone

In 1994, Scotland's first dinosaurs hit the press. Here, part of the sauropod femur is illustrated with Mr Dugald Ross of the Staffin Museum, Isle of Skye, Scotland. The sauropod has been nicknamed 'Dougie the Dinosaur'. A part of a theropod tibia was discovered on the Isle of Skye in 1992, now at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, but was not released to the press until 1995.

A thin slice of the dinosaur bone allows us to see microscopic structures such as the haversian canal system. This type of compact bone has been used as evidence that dinosaurs were warm-blooded as it is similar to that found in mammals.

Reconstruction of the sauropod dinosaur from Scotland

This watercolour reconstruction of 'Dougie the Dinosaur' appeared in the Spring issue of the Dino Times 1995.

The letter from Dugald Ross relating to the discovery. It is not unusual for me to receive letters such as this, but this is the first time that a photograph of a true dinosaur bone has ever been sent to me.

A thin section of the bone showing grains of sediment held within. These consist of heavy minerals that give clues as to the distance the bone was transported along the Jurassic rivers before ending up on the Isle of Skye.

Since this discovery, other dinosaur bones have been found in Scotland. One notable one was the caudal (tail) bone of a small theropod from very close to the sauropod locality. A tooth has also been found and a rib along with a variety of other bone fragments.

This is an image of the new caudal vertebra of the Middle Jurassic theropod from the Isle of Skye.

On the 24th of November I went back to Skye to recover a rib that I had found during the Summer months. It was too large for me to carry up the cliff so I have enlisted some help from Skoosh, a Scottish children's television here to find out more......

In January, while visiting the Isle of Skye, I was fortunate to discover Scotland's first dinosaur trackway. This is how it here to find out more