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’.
Attenborough first discovered his ancestral village as a schoolboy in Leicester when he was allowed out from Wyggeston Grammar School to ‘eavesdrop’ on some introductory lectures given at the University of Nottingham by the new Professor of Geology.