Dinosaur bones are occasionally found in the Wealden clays of Sussex, but on 27 November 2013, an almost complete 17-metre-long diplodocus appeared near Billingshurst in Sussex. Actually, it had been found in a Wyoming quarry by the teenage sons of German palaeontologist Raimund Albersdörfer, reassembled with a supporting structure in Rotterdam and brought to Summers Place as Lot 167 in an auction on 27 November 2013 where the Natural History Museum of Denmark bought ‘Misty’ for £400,000. (Notes for readers: This should ideally be sung to, or at least read to the rhythm of, the song ‘Nellie the elephant’. And it only works if you pronounce ‘Diplodocus’ as ‘Dip-lod-ocus’, with the stress on ‘lod’, like the BBC does.)

To Wyoming,
The Albersdörfers came,
They found a Diplodocus dinosaur, and Misty was her name.
One fine day,
She slipped her earthy chain
And off she went to be restored – a dinosaur again!

Misty Diplodocus checks her bones
As she makes her way to the surface:

Limbs and ribs there? Vertebra?
Yes, they are!
Misty Diplodocus checks her bones
As she is exposed in the quarry:
Limbs and ribs there? Vertebra?
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

She’d died in old Wyoming a long time ago
(A hundred and fifty years or more, said people who should know).
So Misty the dino was crated up and ferried over to Holland –
She had never been so far!
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

In Rotterdam,
They wired her bones together
So Misty could be auctioned off and be preserved for ever.
The auctioneer,
With trusty gavel in hand,
Displayed to the punters at Summers Place old Misty, proud and grand.

Misty Diplodocus checks her bones
Are they all in the right order?
Limbs and ribs there? Vertebra?
Yes, they are!
Misty Diplodocus checks them again
When she’s on show at the auction:
Limbs and ribs there? Vertebra
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

The auctioneer addressed the crowd: “What will you pay?
Four hundred thousand, any advance? It’s yours!” (She thought, “Hooray!”)
So Misty the dino discovered her worth, and felt like she was a rock star;
Her bones were all together again,
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

[Image: BBC]
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