Warwickshire's sea-dragon: an ichthyosaur skull from Binton

Binton ichthyosaur skull
Warwickshire Museum

This remarkable fossil is the skull of a Warwickshire ‘sea-dragon’ – a Jurassic ichthyosaur from Binton, near Stratford-upon-Avon. This amazing fossil was collected in the nineteenth century when the local limestone was quarried for building stone. It is approximately 45 centimetres in length.

A bit like dolphins

Ichthyosaurs were sea-going reptiles that looked a bit like dolphins. Like dolphins they probably had varied diets, and were equipped with sharp teeth for catching fish. Ichthyosaur remains were once found quite commonly in the local limestone quarries. Large schools of these amazing animals must have ruled the shallow Jurassic seas that covered our county 200 million years ago.

The skull is held within Warwickshire Museum’s collections and was recently 3-D scanned by the British Geological Survey as part of their GB 3D Fossils project. The scan can be viewed here.

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