Ichthyosaurs on Newsround

BevszrWCUAAiYzKI was really excited to appear on CBBC Newsround last Friday.

They came to film our Ichthyosaurs and talk about some of the exciting finds that have been turning up on the beaches of Dorset over the last few weeks.

Ichthyosaur from Street, Somerset

Ichthyosaur from Street, Somerset

It was great fun and good publicity for the museum.



Revealing new pictures of Percy discovery

I got a very exciting e-mail yesterday form Alan Heywerth who was there when our plesiosaur Percy, was discovered by Manchester University students in 1960. He has sent me some amazing , never seen before images of when it was discovered.


Whitby 1960cWhitby 1960a

Here’s what Alan said about the discovery:

As I recall, the student who first spotted it sticking out of the rock thought it was a belemnite phragmocone and was going to whack it with his hammer when Fred Broadhurst, very fortuitously, stopped him. ‘



Whitby 1960b

Introducing Sisyphus, our brand new Ichthyosaur!

DSC08119 DSC08120 DSC08118Sisyphus is an ichthyosaur collected by Howard Turner from the beach at Port Mulgrave, near Whitby.

This amazing specimen is named by Howard after the ancient Greek legend of the man who was punished by the Gods and was cursed for eternity to roll a boulder up a mountain. Howard felt an affinity with this after dragging the fossil back to his car before months of delicate preparation.

It is an amazing addition to the collection, which I hope to put on display very soon.

Brian Cox opens Nature’s Library!

Brian Cox opened the new Nature’s Library a few weeks ago now. It was really good of him to come and support our new gallery which has been the culmination of many  months work.

Nature’s Library is a celebration of the amazing objects in our natural science collections. We really wanted to get people excited about nature and show how the collection is used, from cutting edge research into endangered plants and animals to public events.

Come along and have a look at the gallery for yourself.

Interning with Ichthyosaurs

Hi, my name is Anita and I’m a soon-to-be final year MEarthSci student at the University of Manchester. I have been interning in conservation and documentation under ‘Earth Sciences’ at The Manchester Museum for almost 2 weeks now.

 The focus of my time here is to work on the impressive selection of Ichthyosaur specimens (many of which have never been on display) and to identify them as accurately as possible.

 So far I have been; attending meetings, assisting in gem documentation, checking and updating Ichthyosaur records and preparing/conserving fossils for eventual use in ‘Nature’s Library’ (this process involves a review of the current condition of specimens including; checking for pyrite damage, cracks, general grime and removing it).

 Most time however has been applied in research looking for papers describing Jurassic Ichthyosaur type specimens and methods to identify species using various parts of the anatomy. Finding the right papers has been the most challenging aspect so far: they are often written in various languages and can date back to the 1800s making it rather difficult to get our hands on them.

Everyday there is something that leaves me in awe and all of the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, so I’ve really been enjoying myself!

Laser cleaning Ichthyosaurs

We’ve been doing some laser cleaning on one of our Ichthyosaurs ready for going on display in our new Nature’s Library gallery next year.

The way the laser works is that it burns off the years of Manchester grime, leaving the fossil in pristine condition underneath. As you can see it has cleaned up the creamy-coloured limestone beautifully and has really helped us see some of the features that will help us identify which Ichthyosaur it is.

Thanks to Jenny and Susan who did all the hard work!

This specimen is probably from Somerset and has not been on display for decades, if ever.


Percy the Plesiosaur

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