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. He took a train and at one tiny stop he leapt to