The discovery of a bone at the home of a Jordanstown teacher “bridged a vital gap in dinosaur research in Ireland.”
Roger Byrne, an amateur palaentologist, passed on the relic which he discovered on the shore at Jordanstown to the Ulster Museum, 11 years previously.
It was not until June 1989 that the 190 million-year-old fragment was confirmed as that of a scliedosaurus.
It was the first dinosaur bone which had been found in Ireland.
Roger said: “This is the first proof that dinosaurs existed in Ireland. It is very exciting to think that the search will now be stepped up.”
Previously, Mr Byrne had found as many as 50 marine reptile bones.
He indicated that the bone was officially identified by Robin Reid, from the Department of Geology at Queen’s University Belfast, who was believed to be a world expert on bones, during a visit to the Ulster Museum.
Mr Reid said he believed that it had been part of a dinosaur’s thigh.
This was confirmed by Dr Angela Miller from the National Museum in London whom he asked for a second opinion.