The rescue dog is now up for grabs in dog heaven, but his name lives on – in the form of a 200-million-year-old fossil he discovered.
The remarkably complete remains of a Jurassic plesiosaur have finally been put on display, 16 years after Raffle discovered them at Lyme Regis in Dorset.
When he was nine in 2007, he was walking with his owner, Tracey Barclay, when he came to rest on an exposed vertebra, which was discovered by Mrs. Barclay – an amateur fossil hunter, was recognized.
Eventually the entire fossil was unearthed and after 15 years of careful preparation it can be viewed at the Charmouth Heritage Coast Center near Lyme Regis.
Raffle died in 2013, but his rare find, preserved in the fossil-rich ammonite pavement at Monmouth Beach, is now named after him.
Raffle was nine years old in 2007 and was walking with owner Tracey Barclay (pictured together) when he came to rest on an exposed vertebrae recognized by Mrs Barclay.
Plesiosaur fossil found by rescue dog Raffle on display at Charmouth Heritage Coast Center in Dorset
A long-necked marine reptile with paddle-like limbs that hunted fish, the plesiosaur was 10 feet long and 70 percent complete. Missing bones are modeled on existing bones.
Ms Barclay (59) said: “I was walking and Raffle was sitting in front of me. When he stood up, he began to scratch the floor. I know fossils and I could tell it was some vertebrae.’
She said she then found a plesiosaur paddle bone, suggesting there may be more to dig.
Eventually the entire fossil was unearthed and after 15 years of painstaking preparation it is now on display at the Charmouth Heritage Coast Center near Lyme Regis.
“It’s pretty exciting to finally see it on screen,” she added. “It seems only right to name it after Raffle, it was his invention after all.”
Grant Field of the Heritage Center said: “This was a very rare find. Our center is free, so anyone can come and draw the Plesiosaurus.”
Some of the best preserved plesiosaurs in the world have been found in Dorset. The first complete one was found in Lyme Regis in 1824 by paleontologist Mary Anning.
James is an author and travel journalist who writes for The Fashion Vibes. With a love for exploring new cultures and discovering unique destinations, James brings his readers on a journey with him through his articles.