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New Paper on Strawberry Bank Ichthyosaurs Published

Submitted by Matt on

An academic paper entitled "Ichthyosauria from the Upper Lias of Strawberry Bank, England"  has been published recently, which focuses upon an extensive description of eight remarkably preserved ichthyosaurs from the BRLSI's collection. The paper, by Hannah Cain and Professor Mike Benton of University of Bristol, has been published in the Palaeontological Association’s eminent journal, Palaeontology.
The Ichthyosaurs, once assigned to one species, Stenopterygius hauffianus, are shown to belong to two distinct species, Stenopterygius triscissus and Hauffiopteryx typicus. Furthermore, all eight individuals are juveniles (five specimens) or infants (three specimens), ranging from one-tenth to one-half the normal adult length of the species. These discoveries give us a deeper insight to the ecology of the shallow seas of Lower Jurassic Somerset.
The full article can be found in Palaeontology, Vol. 54, Part 5, 2011, pp. 1069–1093.


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Genius!

Intellect in the Bath area has always been high. On 31st December 1780 Edmund Rack commented, "this institution promises much rational improvement and instruction; and has a much more favourable beginning than the Royal Society in London had 100 years ago - there being only 5 members for more than two years: and those 5 not superior in learning and genius to most of our members". 11 Members went on to become Fellows of the Royal Society!

Curatorial Curiosities

Coco-de-Mer (<i>Lodoicea maldivica</i>)

Seedy humour:The fruit of the Coco-de-Mer (Lodoicea maldivica) contains the largest seed known. 40–50 cm in diameter and weighing 15–30 kg, the fruit requires 6–7 years to mature. The shape of the seed has been said to be suggestive of parts of human anatomy. Coincidentally, the inflorescence of the palm is rather phallic.