16 amazing exhibits from the finest collection of Late Jurassic Kimmeridgian fossils ever assembled in Britain

By Culture24 Reporter | 06 August 2015

Building on the new £4.7 million Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset's Kimmeridge village, showcasing Steve Etches' amazing collection, began this week. Here are some of the artefacts to look forward to

Eryma

A photo of the oldest true lobster at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
The oldest true lobster was found sheltering under pictonia ammonite.

Ammonites (Pavovia Rotunda)

A photo of Ammonites at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
Several young Ammonites that have been washed into the body of another, larger example.

Belemnotheutis (Squid)

A photo of a complete squid at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
A complete squid with tentacles and hooklets to grasp its prey. Complete with ink sac.

Osteichthyes

A photo of a fish called thrissops at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
The finely-preserved specimen of a fish called thrissops.

Sea Urchin

A photo of an echinoid at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
A beautifully-preserved example of an echinoid.

Barnacle

A photo of a Cretiscalpellun barnacle at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
The oldest record of a Cretiscalpellun by about 36 million years – the oldest barnacle that shows any evidence of colour retention.

Ichthyosaur

A photo of the unserrated teeth of an ichthyosaur’s jaw at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
This is a close-up of the unserrated teeth of an ichthyosaur’s jaw.

Dragonfly

A photo of a dragonfly at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
The delicately-fossilised wing of a dragonfly (anisoptera).

Complete new genus and species of barnacle

A photo of a barnacle at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
Still living in tropical seas off the Japanese coast. This is the oldest example known from deep time.

Teleost fish

A photo of a teleost at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
A deep sea predator. This skull shows large fangs at the front of the jaw, for preying on smaller fish.

Ammonite eggs

A photo of ammonite eggs at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
Illustrating the rare discovery of how these prolific animals reproduced – a first for science.

Rhinobatus Ray

A photo of a ray at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
A unique specimen showing a set of clasper fins used during reproduction – a first discovery for Britain.

Pterosaur skull

A photo of a Pterosaur at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
This was the first Pterosaur skull found on the Dorset coast for 200 years. Unique to science, it has recently been named Cuspicephalus Scarfi.

Caturid fish

A photo of a Caturid fish at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
The ventrally-preserved specimen of the fish, with “fantastically”-preserved fins and scales.

Broken Ichthyosaur jaw

A photo of an Ichthyosaur at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
A predated Ichthyosaur jaw or skull. An example of an Ichthyosaur with its head bitten off.

The Ichthyosaur with a full belly

A photo of an Ichthyosaur at the Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Dorset
© The Etches Collection. Photo: Terry Keenan
A superb, fully articulated Ichthyosaur – possibly the finest ever from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation. Its meal of fish and squid can still be seen within the rib cage. Experts have agreed it represents a new species.


What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Three museums to see great fossil collections in:

Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton
More than half a million specimens, natural history literature and data extending back over three centuries are housed in this fascinating museum, including hundreds of British birds displayed in recreated natural settings.

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre, Dorset
Interactives, hands-on displays and lots of information on fossils, fossil hunting and the local coastal and marine wildlife. A video microscope allows visitors to examine their finds.

Rotunda Museum, Scarborough
Designed by godfather of geology William Smith, the Rotunda features the first floor Shell Gallery, focusing on 21st century developments and home to Gristhorpe Man, a unique Bronze Age skeleton and tree trunk burial find. The Dinosaur Coast Gallery offers bright, colourful and family friendly hands-on introductions to the coastline and its treasures.
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