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Remarkable Fossils


ONE of the most remarkable collections of Wealden fossils ever seen, was lately on loan for a few days to the exhibition then open at Horsham, and is one that is not to be equalled by any at our public museums in the country. So remarkable is it that I am induced to give you a short description. As you enter the room to the left, the first thing to attract the attention of the palæontologist was the collection contained in a case of about 12 ft, long by 3ft. wide, filled to repletion with the fossil bones of the “Great Horsham Iguanodon” and the “Tower Hill Iguanodon,” and various other bones. There were the fibula, scapula, and caracoid of Iguanodon in juxtaposition with the humerus belonging to the same specimen, the jaw of the young Iguarodon and the caudal vertebræ, all figured and described in the monographs of the Palæontographical Society. Also the Hawksbourne, femur, and tibia with metatarsals and a distal phalanx, and various other vertebræ, teeth and phalanges. The jaw of a very young Megalosaurus which evidently perished very shortly after its escape from the egg. The tibia, supposed scapula, and various other bones and teeth of Megalosaurus, the ribs, vertebræ, and teeth of Hylæosaurus. The jaw and other remains of a young Suchosaurus cultridens not long escaped from the shell, and teeth of Suchosaurus, a fine vertebræ of Streptospondylian type found with the “Great Horsham Iguanodon,” and a femur of a young crocodile. The muzzle and portions of jaws, teeth, vertebræ, scutes, and various other bones of Goniopholis crassidens. This specimen shows the succession of three teeth. This specimen was borrowed in 1842 by a well-known palæontologist for the purpose of illustration and description. Three artists were employed, who executed five quarto plates of the various portions, but they have never yet been published. Seventeen specimens have not been returned. A younger and very beautiful specimen of Goniopholis crassidens in its matrix of stone is missing from this collection. It was borrowed shortly after the above specimen and lithographed at once. It has unfortunately made its escape from custody. It is clear from the specimens shown that the armour of Goniopholis was far more perfect than that of any other living or extinct crocodilian. The toothed and imbricated scutes were in connection with others of a hexagonal or pentagonal shape, which were suturaliy united. The abdominal scutes overlapped each other on one side. Besides these there are several bones of Pterodactyl, the vertebræ, ribs and teeth of Plesiosaurus, a fine jaw of a beaver, various pubic and tympanic bones, and the pubic bone of a saurian described by Dr. Mantell, bones of turtles and many other bones, too numerous to mention, and some of most gigantic size, and in a wonderful state of preservation. This collection is the property of Mr. Holmes, who is also the discoverer of them.

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COWAN, T. Remarkable Fossils. Nature 9, 241–242 (1874).

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