'Amazing' fossils on display at Sidmouth Museum

Jurassic Coast Trust and Sidmouth Museum representatives at the museum

Lauren Sewell and Chris Reedman from the Jurassic Coast Trust with Colin Boynton from Sidmouth Museum at the launch of the new exhibition. - Credit: Ed Dolphin

A display of internationally important fossils can now be seen in Sidmouth Museum. 

Over the years, many fossils of creatures that walked the earth more than 240 million years ago - distant ancestors of the dinosaurs - have been found in Sidmouth's sandstone cliffs.

Now Bristol Museum and the Jurassic Coast Trust have created an exhibit telling the story of these creatures, and they decided it should be placed in Sidmouth Museum.

Bentonyx sidensis, named in honour of Professor Michael Benton of Bristol University

Bentonyx sidensis, named in honour of Professor Michael Benton of Bristol University - Credit: Ed Dolphin

How the Bentonyx sidensis is thought to have looked

How the Bentonyx sidensis is thought to have looked - Credit: Jurassic Coast Trust

One key find was a rhynchosaur skull uncovered at Pennington Point in 1999. This species is now known as Bentonyx sidensis, named after Professor Michael Benton of Bristol University. Another local species in the display is the small lizard, Feralisaurus corami. It’s named after Dr Rob Coram, who discovered the fossil rauisuchian footprint that inspired local author Jo Earlam to write her book Rosa’s Footprint. 

Sidmouth Museum’s curator Ann Tanner said: “We are very grateful to Bristol University and the Jurassic Coast Trust for allowing Sidmouth Museum to display these amazing fossils, it is so good to see them come home.”