Have you ever wondered what Doncaster looked like millions of years ago.
You have the chance to find out, thanks to a new exhibition on show in the town entitled ‘Fossil Wonders: A Hidden Collection Awakened’.
The exhibition, which has taken three months to create, was officially opened to the public earlier this week at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery.
It was put together by Doncaster-born palaeontologist Dean Lomax and Marie Woods, an educator at the museum.
There are more than 50 individual specimens on display, collected from across the world. They come from 550 million to 150,000 years ago. They include a mammoth tooth found in quarries around Doncaster and a dinosaur egg found in southern France somewhere between 66 and 70 million years old.
Also on display are fossils found in Yorkshire main pit, Edlington in 2012, including horse shoe crabs, a shark egg and rare plants.
Dean said: “This exhibition focuses on telling the specific story of Doncaster Museum’s amazing palaeontology collection, a collection that has never been seen before. “The displayed specimens are just a small snippet of what the museum has in its palaeontology collection, but each and every one has been carefully selected to allow members of the public to step back in time and see glimpse of the past.”
At the centre of the exhibition is the ichthyosaur fossil, found in Dorset and thought to be 189 million years old.
The fossil of the extinct marine reptile had been stored in the museum for 30 years and was thought to be a plaster copy, until Dean this year proved it was real.
The author added: “The exhibition will no doubt inspire anybody who has an interest in dinosaurs, fossils and the natural world. It is my hope that this exhibition will leave a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
Marie said: “It’s been great to work alongside Dean in creating this new exhibition. The prospect of bringing to light new material is so exciting.
“As an educator, it is vitally important that this exhibition has been finalised. Fossils and evolution are on the National Curriculum, and this exhibition will be actively used for years to come.”
The exhibition will remain at the museum, Chequer Road, permanently.
The museum is open Wednesday to Friday 10am till 4.30pm and Saturday to Sunday 10.30am till 4.15pm.