Dinosaurs! At Roswell Pits...

The dinosaurs contribute to the continued protection of the area and are part of the reason the area of Ely Pits and Meadows is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest - SSSI

dinosaurs Pliosaur, Ichthyosaur and plesiosaur

The outcrop of the Kimmeridge Clay at Roswell clay pits has yielded a diverse assemblage of Kimmeridgian reptiles, largely, if not exclusively, from the Aulacostephanus eudoxus zone. Within the assemblage, sauropod dinosaurs and pliosaurs are of particular significance. The sauropods, which are generally rare in the European Kimmeridgian, are represented by two taxa (Pelorosaurus humerocristatus and Gigantosaurus megalonyx), the remains of which consist of several post-cranial skeletal elements. The pliosaurs from Roswell Pits consist of three taxa, and the skeletal material from here formed the basis for understanding the taxonomic status of this group of reptiles during the late Jurassic. In addition to the sauropods and pliosaurs, the site has yielded one species of turtle, three genera of crocodiles (including the type material of Dakosaurus lissocephalus), the plesiosaur Colymbosaurus and two ichthyosaur genera (Macropterygius and Ichthyosaurus). The composition of the reptile assemblage from Roswell Pits differs from those of the Kimmeridgian in Dorset and Oxfordshire in that pliosaurs dominate the assemblage whilst pterosaurs appear to be absent. Roswell Pits has yielded one of the richest and most varied Kimmeridgian reptile assemblages and provides information about the composition of these assemblages in the northern part of the Kimmeridge Clay outcrop.

Sauropod Dinosaurs and Pliosaurs

Classification binomial name
Testudines: Cryptodira: Thalassemydae Thalassemys hugii
Archosauria: Crocodylia: Thalattosuchia Dakosaurus lissocephalus
Archosauria: Crocodylia: Thalattosuchia Dakosaurus maximus
Archosauria: Crocodylia: Thalattosuchia Dakosaurus sp.
Archosauria: Crocodylia: Thalattosuchia Metriorhynchus bastifer
Archosauria: Crocodylia: Thalattosuchia Metriorhynchus sp.
Archosauria: Crocodylia: Thalattosuchia Steneosaurus sp.
Archosauria: Dinosauria: Saurischia: Sauropoda Pelorosaurus humerocristatus
Archosauria: Dinosauria: Saurischia: Sauropoda Gigantosaurus megalonyx
Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria: Elasmosauridae Colymbosaurus trochanterius
Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria: Elasmosauridae Colymbosaurus sp.
Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria: Pliosauridae Pliosaurus brachydeirus
Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria: Pliosauridae Pliosaurus brachyspondylus
Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria: Pliosauridae Pliosaurus sp.
Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria: Pliosauridae Liopleurodon macromerus
Ichthyopterygia: Ichthyosauria Macropterygius trigonus
Ichthyopterygia: Ichthyosauria Ichthyosaurus sp.

Want to learn more?

Click on the links below to find out more about Ely's wild spaces and how to get involved.

Get Involved: We are running events all through the year.
Using Heritage Lottery funding: memories of Ely Pits and Meadows.