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Fossils in focus at museum

Published on Tuesday, October 4, 2016

CELEBRATE all things geological during two events at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.

As part of Earth Science Week 2016 (Oct 8th to 16th), the museum is hosting two events.

Between 11am and 1pm on Saturday 8 October visitors can look at the museum's fossil collection, as part of 'Fossils in Focus'.

A fossil will be specially brought out of museum stores for the event so that visitors can handle and find out some fascinating facts about it.

Meanwhile on Sunday 16 October at 3pm Dr Mark Evans, curator of natural sciences at the museum, will give a talk on one of the museum’s star fossils - the 'Barrow Kipper'.

This 5 metre-long fossil skeleton, was discovered in 1851 in a quarry in Barrow upon Soar, and has spent the last 165 years on display in Leicester’s New Walk Museum.

The talk, entitled 'News from the Jurassic: a fresh look at the Barrow Kipper plesiosaur', will look at how new discoveries have changed our view of the iconic Leicestershire fossil.

“The last few years have seen something of a renaissance in the study of these animals,” explained Dr Evans.

He added: “Although we’ve known the ‘Kipper’ as Rhomaleosaurus megacephalus for the last 25 years, it’s now become apparent that it is neither Rhomaleosaurus nor megacephalus, and ultimately it will need a new name of its own.

"We have compared it to other early Jurassic plesiosaurs and it is sufficiently distinct to warrant the creation of a new species. This tells us that there was a greater diversity of these animals than we previously thought.”

Both events are free to attend and for further details, call the museum on: 0116 225 4900.