Tim Heald

Wild Life

Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster

By David Attenborough

BBC 384pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

David Attenborough is named after a Nottinghamshire village and has passed his name on to a fossil. The fossil is actually a bit dodgy. It came originally from the cliffs near Lyme Regis and was given to Bristol Museum by a nineteenth-century Vicar of Axminster, the Reverend William Conybeare. Attenborough tells us that it was ‘the only known specimen’ of a species with ‘the elongated neck typical of plesiosaurs but a long massive snout with huge teeth’. Unfortunately it was destroyed during the Blitz but a cast had been made by the Natural History Museum in London and it is this which has now been christened ‘Attenborosaurus conybeari’.

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