Fossils dating back hundreds of millions of years have returned to Scarborough after half a century.
The 55 specimens were loaned to Doncaster Museum in the mid 1960s, and although now the normal practice is to loan the items for a year, they have been there ever since.
But after expert restoration by palaeontologist Nigel Larkin, paid for by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the fossils have now been returned to the Rotunda Museum.
They include a block of ammonites collected from Robin Hood’s Bay, which includes at least two different species and dates back to around 200 million years old, and several very rare fish, from the Whitby area, which are believed to be around 180 million years old.
The fish, believed to be leptolepis and lepidotus, are extinct and their fossils are no longer easily collected.
The fossils have been restored as part of the Catalogued, Interpreted, Researched, Conserved, Accessible (CIRCA) project.
Geologist and head of public programmes at Scarborough Museums Trust, Will Watts, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these specimens back after an extended vacation. They’re in superb condition thanks to the CIRCA Project, and several, including a leg bone believed to be from a middle Jurassic period dinosaur, will go on immediate display as part of the Scarborough’s Lost Dinosaurs exhibition at the Rotunda Museum.”
They have been cleaned and conserved by renowned palaeontologist Nigel Larkin.
Dean Lomax, assistant curator of palaeontology at Doncaster Museum (CIRCA project) and a visiting scientist at Manchester University, added: “The specimens were brought to Doncaster by John Lidster and Elphinstone Forrest Gilmour, who were past curators at Scarborough’s old Woodend Museum. The Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery opened in 1964, and we believe these remains formed part of a new display on the geology and fossils of Doncaster and the wider region. We know there was a section dedicated to the Jurassic Coast of Yorkshire around Scarborough.”