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West Runton Elephant
The story begins on 13 December 1990 when, following a stormy night, local residents Harold and Margaret Hems took a walk on the beach. They found a large bone partly exposed at the bottom of the cliffs, and contacted Norfolk Museums Service. It was identified as a pelvic bone of a large elephant. Just over a year later after another storm, several more huge bones were uncovered. This was obviously a find of major significance, and in January 1992 the first exploratory excavation took place. Once the results of this had been evaluated, a second major 3 month excavation followed in 1995.
What had been uncovered was an example of the largest species of elephant that has ever lived, and the largest animal ever to have lived on land except for the very biggest dinosaurs. Standing four metres high at its shoulder, it would have weighed about ten tons – twice the weight of any male African elephant you would find today. It is the largest elephant skeleton ever found and is the oldest elephant skeleton to have been found in the UK (some individual bones or teeth from elsewhere are older, but none make even a partial skeleton). The West Runton Elephant skeleton is also the best example of this species ever to have been found. Previously the best were two partial skeletons, one in Germany and the other in Russia, both only about 10-15% complete. The WRE skeleton is about 85% complete.
Theme: Coastal Environment
Exhibition: West Runton Elephant
James Stevens no.14 at the October MHE 2008 event
Bow Pudding of restored lifeboat
W Hammond's RNLI Certificate
Walton Maritime Museum Volunteers with the James Stephens No.14 in October 2008
black and white photograph of Cromer coxswain Henry Blogg with the Prince of Wales at a presentation ceremony in the Central Hall, Westminster, London
West Runton Elephant. A reconstruction drawing by Sam Brown of the likely appearance of the West Runton elephant.
Gansey knitting stick or shield
Cromer Museum have kindly invited me to come & do my Propagansey talk & display this Satu…