GIANT DINOSAUR RESEMBLING ‘DRAGON’ AT LARGE IN NEW ZEALAND
A giant dinosaur said to resemble a ‘dragon’ and as long as a bus is at large somewhere in the Taranaki region, but there’s no need to lock up your pets – it’s a skeleton which could make the person who finds it a household name.
The existence of the missing dinosaur which, if re-discovered, would be the largest found in New Zealand, has only come to light because of a new book by journalist Ian Wishart, called “Our Stories: The New Zealand That Time Forgot”, launched today.
The beast was originally discovered in 1896, when museum officials searching a riverbank for fossils stumbled on the skeleton of a 12 metre long dinosaur embedded in the rock.
Although the discovery made news headlines around New Zealand at the time, government officials decided the dinosaur was too big, too remote and too expensive to move, and they left the skeleton where it lay, and it was quickly forgotten.
Officials from the government survey office told journalists that fossilised reptilian skin covered the skeleton, and the skull was almost as big as a man’s body. One photo was taken, which Ian Wishart tracked down in the archives of a long-defunct newspaper, and has published in the Our Stories book.
The surveyors called in to assess the possible excavation in 1896 describe the beast as “a land lizard” having a head “like a dragon”.
It’s one of hundreds of historical news stories re-published in Ian Wishart’s ‘Our Stories’ book, which has been launched today.
Among other revelations: New Zealand was not the first country to give women the vote – we were beaten by a bunch of cowboys by several decades; and Christchurch has been repeatedly hit by massive earthquakes and deadly tsunami since Europeans arrived, but it appears modern officials and scientists had been unaware of just how shaky Christchurch has always been – the Christchurch Cathedral has been damaged by earthquakes on numerous occasions!
Edited by Ian Wishart