Fossil find gifted to museum

Digging up a 200 million-year-old fossil doesn’t happen every day at Hinkley Point C but when it does, it’s cause for excitement for the site team and the local museum that will showcase the find.

Rachel Trick, Field Engineer and Geologist, was the person who spotted something unusual while inspecting a rock formation on site. She said: “I knew that it was bone because of its colour. I live in Devon so I’m used to finding ammonites but this was my first bone find.”

The Kier BAM Geology team is responsible for managing the paleontological watching brief on behalf of EDF Energy. As part of Hinkley Point C’s commitment to gifting fossil discoveries to science, Taunton-based environmental consultant Geckoella (employed by Kier BAM) inspects any finds.

Geckoella confirmed the 45cm bone found was from an Ichthyosaur, a large marine reptile that resembled modern fish and dolphins. It was safely removed for preservation and will soon be on display at Taunton Museum.

Did you know?

  • The site consists of limestone and mudstone rocks. They were deposited in a marine environment around 200 million years ago during the upper Triassic to lower Jurassic geological time periods
  • Ichthyosaurs first appeared around 250 million years ago. The species survived until around 90 million years ago
  • The first complete skeletons were found in 1811 in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

IMAGE CREDIT: BOB NICHOLLS (THINKTANK, BIRMINGHAM SCIENCE MUSEUM)