Fossils of plesiosaurs are extremely rare in the Netherlands: until recently, only a handful of teeth and just seven vertebrae, all belonging to different individuals, have been found. But with the discovery of a tail bone of a young plesiosaur, a new fossil can be added to the collection. The discovery was made during work in a subterranean quarry in the village of Sibbe in southern Limburg. When it was found, it was unclear as to which animal species the fossil belonged to. Utrecht student Feiko Miedema determined that it does indeed belong to a plesiosaur. The new discovery was presented at an international symposium in Maastricht on Saturday, 30 November.
The fossil was uncovered during quarry work by the firm Mergelbouwsteen Kleijnen, which donated it to Maastricht Natural History Museum without hesitation. Around that time, Feiko Miedema, a biology student with a special interest in fossil life, asked palaeontologist Anne Schulp whether he could suggest any interesting thesis topics. “Anne Schulp was already in contact with Maastricht, and brought up the new find. It was my job to find out which animal we were dealing with.”