Fossil fish lizard

Nearly complete but fragmented skeleton of a juvenile Ichthyosaur.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Common Name
fossil fish lizard
Simple Name
fossil: fish lizard
Full Name
Ichthyosaurus communis
whole length mm; whole width mm; whole H mm
Geology Period
Jurassic 199 – 145 mya
Family Group

Collection Town
Lyme Regis
Collection County
Collection Country
United Kingdom: England
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collection Continent

    There are 3 comments

    • Michael Sandy
      13 July 2018 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      Hello . . . just an fyi. you have this listed as Cretaceous . . . !
      Now that would be worth publishing on!

      Best wishes,
      Michael Sandy

      • Holly Morgenroth
        08 August 2018 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

        Thanks Michael! I’ve edited that and it will change online with our next export!

    • Sometime between 1809 and 1811, along a stretch of what is now known as the Jurassic Coast, a young girl discovers, along with her brother and father, a strange-looking fossilised skull of about 5 metres in length. The father, Richard, is a cabinetmaker by trade who harbours a passion for collecting fossils; his daughter, Mary – just a child of about 10 or 12 at the time – shares his interest in the developing field of geology and often accompanies her father as his fossil-collecting sidekick. Like her father, she has little formal education – her interest and knowledge of the subject instead originating from the research she undertakes independently into the natural sciences. Over the course of many days, they work to unearth the remains of the peculiar creature that they have found. It is a species unknown to the scientific community in England at the time, appearing on first glance to resemble a kind of primordial crocodile; it is later determined to be a 201-million-year-old marine reptile called the Ichthyosaurus (or ‘fish lizard’). This is not the only discovery that the young girl, Mary, will make over the course of her life, or even her most significant contribution to the field of palaeontology. Although often side-lined by the scientific community due to her gender and class, this young girl would latterly become one of the “greatest fossilists the world ever knew”: Mary Anning (1799-1847).

      Her life and work might have become more familiar to many within the last year thanks to her recent portrayal in the 2020 film, Ammonite, by Kate Winslet. Much like 2021’s The Dig (a film which covers the discovery of the Sutton Hoo collection), Ammonite attempts to rehabilitate Mary Anning’s scientific reputation from relative obscurity – Illuminating the oft-erased, yet vitally important work undertaken by figures whose personal circumstances frequently relegates them to the footnotes of history. Ammonite, however, goes beyond that: it both showcases Anning’s scientific aptitude and charters her developing, romantic relationship with a young woman called Charlotte Murchison.

      To read more of Emma Wallace’s blog post please visit the Out and About: Queering the Museum project website

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