Whitby Museum is famed for its collection of Jurassic fossils including several spectacular marine reptiles which are mounted on the walls in the geology section. These include Plesiosaurus propinquus (now designated Rhomaleosaurus zetlandicus). The original animal has been esimated at 4.50 m long. Found at Kettleness in the summer of 1844 in an alum quarry belonging to the Marquis of Normanby. It was removed at the instigation of the quarry operators to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society for examination. However Lord Normanby subsequently indicated that he considered himself the owner and it was returned to Mulgrave Castle and in 1847 the annual report of the Whitby Literary & Philosophical Society records it as a 'valuable acquisition'. For the full story of this and other Whitby Museum reptiles read The Floating Egg by Roger Osborne (our current geology curator).
Fossils & Geology