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Jurassic bark: Dog sniffs out woolly rhino bone

Give a dog a bone: Crystal alongside her prized possession — a woolly rhino bone PICTURES: SWNS

A SUPER-SNIFFING beagle has discovered a bone from a woolly rhino that died more than 250,000 years ago.

Four-year-old Crystal has worked with her palaeontologist owner Jamie Jordan, 29, to find fossils and remains of the oldest creatures on the planet.

Mr Jordan said: ‘We got Crystal originally as a companion, we chose a beagle because I’ve always wanted a hound.’

Nose for it: Crystal uses her extra-sensitive sense of smell to track down fossilised bones

He was then inspired by his fossil-hunting hero Mary Anning who would take her dog on trips to the Jurassic coast in the Victorian era.

Mr Jordan started off getting Crystal to smell out bones from the Ice Age, said to have an organic, pungent and clay-like smell.

Once trained, Crystal made the find of a lifetime when she dug up a huge leg bone of a woolly rhino — dubbed Stompy — that is believed to have died a quarter of a million years ago.

Now every time the intrepid pooch comes back with a prehistoric prize, Mr Jordan gives her a treat, making the entire search more like a game.

Canine capers: Palaeontologist Jamie Jordan with his co-worker companion Crystal

When out on a dig, Mr Jordan, from Peterborough, will let Crystal sniff a piece of bone to pick up a scent and she’ll hunt out as many fossils as she can.

Mr Jordan said: ‘If they’re on the surface she’ll sniff it out and howl to alert us, but if the bone is underground Crystal will just dig down.’