‘I was amazed that I have found a bone from an extinct species of animal that was around with the mammoths’: Piece of ‘Steppe Bison’ unearthed in Sheringham

A relative of these European bison may have been unearthed on the beach at Sheringham. Pictre: Bern

A relative of these European bison may have been unearthed on the beach at Sheringham. Pictre: Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP,file - Credit: AP

An amateur fossil hunter believes he may have found part of an animal which last roamed the earth more than 10,000 years ago - on a north Norfolk beach.

Paul Betts found what he believes was part of a Steppe Bison on the beach at Sheringham this month.

Paul Betts found what he believes was part of a Steppe Bison on the beach at Sheringham this month. PIcture: PAUL BETTS - Credit: PAUL BETTS

Paul Betts, from Thursford, was walking near the lifeboat station in Sheringham when he discovered a bone which he thinks may have belonged to a Steppe Bison - which are now extinct.

His find was made less than 10 miles from where West Runton where parts of mammoth, rhino and hippo have been unearthed over the last three decades.

Mr Betts, whowse claims have been supported by members of the Norfolk Fossil Finds page on Facebook, said: 'I was amazed that I have found a bone from an extinct species of animal that was around with the mammoths.

'Its the first fossilized bone that I have found, but I've been coming to the north Norfolk since a child where my first memories of the coast included visiting West Runton and finding belamite fossils.

Chris Archer discovered a bison skull while out searching for fossils on Weybourne beach in 2004.

Chris Archer discovered a bison skull while out searching for fossils on Weybourne beach in 2004. - Credit: Archant � 2004


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'We were having a walk on the beach after the small tidal surge we had and it appears the waves had tossed it on to the stones next to the life boat launching ramp. I go metal detecting there as well and I've seen nothing like it.'

North Norfolk District Council is currently bidding for funding to rebrand a stretch of coastline the Deep History Coast in recognition of some of the finds unearthed.

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If Mr Betts' bone is verified as being from a Steppe Bison, it won't be the first to be found.

In 2004, local shopkeeper Chris Archer picked up an ancient Bison skull while out searching for fossils on Weybourne beach.

Have you found an interesting fossil? Email the details to our newsroom in Cromer: nnn.news@archant.co.uk

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