Experts tracking down rogue dog owners in Rochdale came up with the shocking news that prehistoric species are alive and kicking. What’s more, the anachronistic creatures have been tracked down.

A small nest of the Cretaceous critters was discovered lounging in the Rochdale canal. The Herald managed to secure an interview with a brontosaurus named Charlotte.

How come nobody knew you existed, until now? “We blend in perfectly,” claims Charlotte Brontosaurus. “Our rotund bodies and scaly skin are similar to the classic Rochdale look. It’s what a diet of corned beef pies and mushy peas does to you.” Charlotte went on to add that she herself doesn’t indulge in meat pies, being vegetarian, but that she is partial to lard-fried chips.

The rugged reptiles occasionally venture into Rochdale town centre to forage for essentials. “One of us must have left a ‘present’ last time,” says Charlotte. “Normally we are tidy, responsible monsters and bag it and bin it.”

The whole extinction question had to be asked. What about the asteroid impact that killed off the rest of the dinosaurs? “Well, the sky turned dark, and the sun wasn’t seen for many days. The weather became cold and wet. It didn’t affect Rochdale, it’s always like that up here. I know of a small knot of Stegosaurus living in the Pennines near Littleborough, and there are raptors out on the moors.”

How do you manage to hide so successfully? “The murky waters conceal us perfectly. The very occasional canal nuts who walk around here drugged up to the eyeballs are treated like the headcases they are. I was once photographed on holiday in the Scottish lochs!”

With that, she flounced off back into the grimy waters of the cut. Proof at last that dinosaurs exist outside stereotypical northern pubs and the House of Lords.