Leeds ,

Object of the week- Hypselospinus

More than 137 million years ago, huge plant-eating dinosaur Hypselospinus would have roamed the UK alongside other spectacular prehistoric giants.

Today, at around 25 feet long and in more than 100 individual fossilised pieces, it could be Leeds’s biggest, oldest and most complex jigsaw puzzle.

Painstakingly reassembled by experts at Leeds City Museum, the dinosaur is on display there this May half term as part of a week-long celebration of the city’s impressive collection of dinosaurs and marine reptiles.

The dinosaur’s name is derived from the Greek hypselos, meaning "high" and Latin spina, meaning "thorn", in reference to its high vertebral spines.

The ancient skeleton is usually housed at the Leeds Discovery Centre and was originally found near Rye in East Sussex in 1866.

The remains include a near complete tail, right hind limb and foot along with incomplete forelimbs, vertebra, ribs, pelvis and an extremely rare skull fragment. They are on display on top of a full-sized illustration, showing both the scale of the animal and exactly how its remains fit together.

Also on show are the well-preserved remains of an Ichthyosaurus, a speedy, dolphin-like marine predator, coprolites, otherwise known as fossilised dinosaur dung and a beautiful cast of archaeopteryx, the first bird, taken from the famous specimen belonging to the Natural History Museum.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “Dinosaurs have the power to capture the imaginations of children and adults alike and are always among our most popular exhibits.

“It’s fantastic to know that we’ll once again be giving thousands of children and families in Leeds such a unique opportunity to engage with museums and history this half term.”

For more details, please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/Pages/School-Holidays.aspx