One of the most beloved fossils at Manchester Museum is a Jurassic-era plesiosaur called Percy.
Percy was discovered by Manchester University Students in 1960 when they were on a field trip looking for fossils. The students thought at first that they had found a common fossil called a belemnite when their lecturer, Fred Broadhurst, realised it was something quite special.
There was a high chance the fossil was going to be destroyed by the waves, so they collected as much as they could there and then and went back to collect the rest shortly afterwards.
They wrapped large blocks of rock in plaster jackets and then brought the fossil safely back to The University of Manchester. Percy has been on display in the Fossils gallery for decades and is classified by scientists as a ‘holotype’, meaning he is the first and main reference point for his species and is studied by researchers from around the world.