AN important dinosaur bone has been returned to Scarborough Museums Trust.

It had been loaned to Doncaster Council from Scarborough’s Woodend Museum in 1964, when items were often given to other museums without any paperwork or formal loan agreements.

It has remained in storage along with the rest of Doncaster’s extensive fossil collection until now.

The part of a metatarsal (or toe bone) of a sauropod is special because it is believed to be one of two metatarsals collected with other bone fragments from Jurassicaged rocks at White Nab, south of Scarborough, some time during the 1830s, and donated to Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum.

The White Nab bones were first described in 1837 by local naturalist William Crawford Williamson, of Scarborough. Although not described as dinosaur at the time, they are the fifth documented occurrence of dinosaur remains in England.

Dr Philip Mannion, palaeontologist and research fellow at Imperial College, in London, said: “The rediscovery of this sauropod metatarsal bone is very significant, as dinosaur remains from the Yorkshire coast are very rare and especially from this time interval.”