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Monday, 7 January 2013

An Ichthyosaur named Kevin

The ichthyosaur specimen known as “Kevin” (left) is one of the most dramatic objects on display in Lyme Regis Museum. It is probably a member of the species Temnodontosaurus platyodon, first named by the Rev. William Conybeare, a Rector of Axminster in the 19th century. This particular specimen was found by workmen below Lyme’s main beach during Phase II of the sea defence works in 2005. It is named in remembrance of one of the workers who was killed the evening before it was found. The specimen is not complete, but the remains are those of a massive ichthyosaur, originally some 18ft 4in (5.6 metres) long. It is mounted on a board along one wall of the geology gallery. An impression of the outline of the body of the reptile is painted on the board. It was given by West Dorset District Council, which generously helped with the cost of equipment, excavation, preparation and mounting.

Kevin the Ichthyosaur is featured in a new series on the History of Lyme Regis in Museum Objects on the Museum website, produced by the Museum's  research team. If you follow the link, you will find a number of in-depth PDF documents you can download, including one on the subject of The Black Ven Ichthyosaur and the Ichthyosaur known as “Kevin”, written by Paddy Howe with photographs by Chris Andrew and Richard Bull.

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