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Dinosaur skeleton fails to sell at auction

The skeleton could raise £500,000 Credit: Silke Lohmann

An "exceptionally rare" almost-complete skeleton of a young dinosaur failed to sell at auction today.

The remains of the Allosaurus, one of the largest dinosaurs of the late Jurassic period, are believed to be the most complete juvenile of the species discovered so far.

The skeleton, known as Little Al and estimated to be up to 155 million years old, went under the hammer at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex.

Relatively complete dinosaur skeletons are "extremely rare", the auctioneers said, with those of young dinosaurs even more so.


350 athletes to take part in watersports comp at Hurley

Kayakers get in some practice the night before the Hurley Classic begins Credit: Sue Walters

The final preparations have taken place for a celebration of freestyle watersports taking place at the Hurley Weir near Maidenhead this weekend.

More than 350 competitors from across the globe are expected to take part in the freestyle challenges. Amateur paddlers and professionals will take to the water in a number of events at the annual International Paddlesport Festival on the River Thames in Berkshire.

“We have some great water conditions now, the rain last week came just in time for the lock keepers to be able to open two of the weir gates to create a wave where many tricks can be performed.

"It is a great opportunity for members of the public to see some of the best freestyle kayakers in the world up close, as the walkway over the weir is opened up especially for the event.

"There will be young paddlers workshops, races in white water kayaks, and Stand Up Paddleboards across the white water. New this year will be a team event, where several boaters will surf the wave together and try to do some tricks, which should provide great entertainment, as well as the ever popular flood lit final."

– Andrew Jackson, Organiser
Finishing touches being put to marquee for this weekend's competition

Video: Kent fire crews bring in new oxygen masks for pets

Now, if you had a fire in your home, what would be the first thing you saved? Well, apart from your family, the most likely second choice would be a pet. Some of us would even risk out own lives to rescue them. But the prospect of recovery afterwards is often slim. So now, Kent Fire & Rescue Service have started using new oxygen masks for pets to improve their chances. Andrea Thomas explains. She spoke to Lynn Carberry from the not for profit organisation Smokey Paws and Dave Nolan from Kent Fire & Rescue Service.


More than 1,800 lights put on Britain's tallest tree

A view of Britain's tallest Christmas tree at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, fitted with an estimated 1800 lights following its official switch on Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images

More than 1,800 lights have been put on Britain's tallest Christmas tree, enabling it to be used as a beacon for planes landing at nearby Gatwick Airport.

Standing at around 110ft tall, the giant redwood at Wakehurst Place near Ardingly, West Sussex, is the UK's largest living festive tree. It was first decorated outside Wakehurst's Elizabethan mansion 23 years ago, and was planted in the 1890s as one of the first exotic trees on the 500-acre estate.

It takes a team of arboriculturalists all day in two cherry pickers to put up the LED bulbs and remeasure the tree at Wakehurst, a National Trust site run by Kew Gardens.

Wakehurst's director Tony Sweeney said: "The tree is approximately 120 years old and we're expecting it to have grown around a foot. The tree has great vitality and it will continue to grow at an impressive rate for many more years to come."

The tree is one of Wakehurst's great survivors, weathering the Great Storm of 1987 and many other gales since, including Storm Barney this week. Following the decoration and testing of the lights, the illuminations will be switched on on December 4 to mark the start of Wakehurst's Glow Wild Lantern Festival.

Tiny turtle called Tina rescued from dustbin

Tiny turtle rescued from bin Credit: Heath Veterinary Clinic

Hurstpierpoint, has been nursing a dumped baby turtle back to health.

Originally nicknamed Tiny Tim, Tiny Tina (who is actually a girl) was found dumped in a dustbin in the local area and handed in to Heath Vets last week. She was cold, lethargic and very hungry but once warmed up by the staff, she began to be more active but needed extra TLC before she started eating again.

With a shell about the size of a 50 pence piece, Tiny Tina really is teeny and is thought to be only one month old, although she could live up to 50 years. Her skin had not shed as well as it should have, but with lots of care from Heath Vets, it is looking less flaky and she appears to be on the mend.

Sarah Solomon, Practice Manager of Heath Veterinary Clinic, says:

“We were really shocked to have a turtle brought into the clinic and upset to find out she had been dumped. Exotic pets are becoming more popular but unfortunately are sometimes sold without the necessary research, habitat or advice. It has been very difficult to find a suitable home for Tiny Tina as the local RSPCA centre is temporarily closed at the moment. However, I met with the East Sussex Reptile and Amphibian Society ( who have taken her on, ensuring she gets the treatment and care needed.”

– Heath Veterinary Clinic

Jeremy Corbyn sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Incy Wincy Spider

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined children in a rendition of the nursery songs Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Incy Wincy Spider.

Mr Corbyn knew all the words and actions to the song during a visit to Caterpillars Pre School in Crawley.

He saw the work of the pre-school and listened parents who will be affected by the Conservative's planned cuts to tax credits.

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