Mary Had a Little Monster
Tony Gill Discovers a Giant Ichthyosaur on Dorset Beach
A special report by correspondent

Tony Gill is one of England's top fossils hunters, and — based in Charmouth, Dorset on England's "Jurassic Coast" — he knows the famous fossil producing beaches as well as anyone.

However, even Tony was surprised one morning around 6 am when, following a week of heavy rain, he found a fall of large nodules on the beach near his fossil shop. Although someone had already been through most of the nodules in search of the well-preserved ammonites that are sometimes found within, Tony took a look around anyway.

What appeared, at first, to be "fossilized wood" later turned out to be a large and spectacular Ichthyosaur, possibly Temnodontosaurus platyodeon.

Tony Gill rests his hand on
Mary's head in his workshop
You can learn more about Tony's find — named Mary, in honor of Dorset's great Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning — and see photographs of the cleaning and preparation of this remarkable marine reptile fossil at Tony's website:

Detail of part of Mary's jaw   [Photo © by Tony Gill]

View along the Dorset coast, near where Mary was discovered


Tony Gill
Charmouth Fossils
Lower Sea Lane
Charmouth, Dorset, DT6 6LL, UK

Telephone: (44) (0)1297 560020