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Baryonyx

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In January 1983 the British plumber and amateur fossil collector William J. Walker explored the Smokejacks Pit, a clay pit in the Weald Clay Formation near Ockley in Surrey, England. He found a rock wherein he discovered a large claw, but after piecing it together at home, he realised the tip of the claw was missing. Walker returned to the same spot in the pit some weeks later, and found the missing part after searching for an hour. He also found a phalanx bone and part of a rib. Walker's son-in-law later brought the claw to the Natural History Museum of London, where it was examined by the British palaeontologists Alan J. Charig and Angela C. Milner, who identified it as belonging to a theropod dinosaur. The palaeontologists found more bone fragments at the site in February, but the entire skeleton could not be collected until May and June due to weather conditions at the pit. A team of eight museum staff members and several volunteers excavated 2 t (2. 2 short tons) of matrix in 54 blocks over a three-week period. Walker donated the claw to the museum, and the Ockley Brick Company (owners of the pit) donated the rest of the skeleton and provided equipment. The area had been explored for 200 years, but no similar remains had been found before.

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