World's oldest reptile fossil comes home to Joggins

Andrew Wagstaff
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Joggins Fossil Institute director Jenna Boon (left) presents a gift to Dr. Jenny Clack, a vertabrate paleontologist at Cambridge University in Great Britain, after Clack's presentation on the Hylonomus lyelli during opening day activities at the Joggins Fossil Centre on April 23. The world's earliest reptile fossil, discovered in Joggin in 1959, is on loan to the centre. Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen

JOGGINS - It was discovered in the famous fossil cliffs here more than 150 years ago, and now Hylonomus lyelli has come home.

The 312-million-year-old fossil, discovered by John William Dawson in 1859, was unveiled at the annual season opening of the Joggins Fossil Centre on Saturday, April 23. The fossil is on loan from the Museum of Natural History in London, England.

Also part of the day's activities was a presentation from Dr. Jenny Clack, a vertebrate paleontologist from Cambridge University, on the significance of the rare fossil. She addressed a packed crowd at the centre on Saturday afternoon.

"Today is another great day in Joggins, as we join together to celebrate the third anniversary of the opening of the Joggins Fossil Centre, Earth Day, and of course our globally important geological heritage and the homecoming of Hylomonus lyelli, which is extremely exciting from many perspectives," said Larry Latta, vice-chair of the Joggins Fossil Institute.

(For the full story, see the April 30 issue of The Citizen)

Organizations: Museum of Natural History, Cambridge University, Joggins Fossil Institute The Citizen

Geographic location: Joggins, London, England

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