Geology

Within this geology collection of around 18,000 specimens is the largest single assembly of material from the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Around twenty holotype fossils include the Swanage snapper, a beautifully preserved crocodile skull, and the Weymouth Bay pliosaur, the largest substantially complete pliosaur – sea reptile – skull found to date.

Christmas & New Year Opening Times 

Sat 24 December | CLOSED
Sun 25 December | CLOSED
Mon 26 December | CLOSED
Tues 27 Dec | OPEN, Bank Holiday hours
Wed 28 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Thurs 29 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Fri 30 Dec | OPEN, normal hours
Sat 31 Dec | OPEN – 9am to 3pm (early closing)
Sun 1 Jan 2023 | CLOSED
Mon 2 Jan | OPEN, Bank Holiday hours
Tues 3 Jan | OPEN, normal hours

dorset-museum-objects-Portland-Roach-Stone-with-molluscs

Geology

October 30, 2020

Portland Roach stone with molluscs (Aptyxiella portlandicum and Myophorella sp.)   

When this limestone was forming, the snail and bivalve shells buried in it dissolved away, leaving gaps. The solid shell shapes you see are casts…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-mother-of-pearl

Geology

October 30, 2020

Belemnite with mother-of-pearl (Conoteuthis sp.)    

You rarely see mother-of-pearl preserved like this in a belemnite – a squid-like fossil. The shell was made up of fine, alternating layers of inorganic…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-the-swanage-crocodile

Geology

October 30, 2020

The Swanage crocodile (Goniopholis kiplingi, holotype)       

This skull is from a substantial crocodile that dwelled in Purbeck’s Early Cretaceous lagoons. There it waited, motionless, to ambush unsuspecting animals. Fish, turtles and…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-pliosaur

Geology

October 14, 2020

Raptor dinosaur jaw (Nuthetes destructor)    

This tiny lower jaw is the first raptor dinosaur fossil found in Britain. It belonged to a small dromaeosaur – a group that also included…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-Star-ammonite

October 14, 2020

Star ammonite (Asteroceras sp.)

This superb ammonite retains some of its original shell. It shows some of the textures and features the shellfish had in life, such as grooves…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-Dinosaur-Backbones

Geology

October 14, 2020

Dinosaur backbones (Scelidosaurus harrisonii)  

These backbones belonged to a famous local plant-eating dinosaur called Scelidosaurus. Adult scelidosaurs were three to four metres long, with long tails and protective body…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-Flowering-plant-leaf

Geology

September 24, 2020

Flowering plant leaf

Can you spot where insects nibbled the edges of this leaf? Today’s flowering plants and insects often depend on each other to live. This fossil…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-Fish-(Dapedium-sp)

Geology

September 24, 2020

Fish (Dapedium sp.)

Thick scales and bony skull-plates protected this fish from predators. Even if a hunter spotted its slender profile, it could have escaped by changing direction…

Read more
dorset-museum-objects-Turtle-shell-(Hyaeochelys-emarginata)

Geology

September 24, 2020

Turtle shell (Hyaeochelys emarginata) ND

You normally see a turtle’s top shell (carapace) from the outside. This shell has been fossilised with its inside showing. There are backbones (vertebrae) still…

Read more