Jurassic predators return to Seaton

PUBLISHED: 07:01 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 07 October 2019

Twins Fred and Solomon Unwin, aged seven, from Lyme Regis, unveiled Seaton Jurassic’s new model of a pliosaur skeleton watched by Mayor Ken Beer and other officials. Picture Chris Carson

Twins Fred and Solomon Unwin, aged seven, from Lyme Regis, unveiled Seaton Jurassic's new model of a pliosaur skeleton watched by Mayor Ken Beer and other officials. Picture Chris Carson

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Seaton Jurassic is giving visitors the chance to come face to face with some of the monster predators which lived in the area 150 million years ago.

Seaton Tesco services manger Jackie Gay presents the cheque for £4,000 to Richard Drysdale. Picture: Chris CarsonSeaton Tesco services manger Jackie Gay presents the cheque for £4,000 to Richard Drysdale. Picture: Chris Carson

The tourist attraction, owned by East Devon District Council and operated by the charity Devon Wildlife Trust, has unveiled three new model display features to add to its rich story of time-travel and pre-historic exploration.

Younger visitors will be drawn to the skeleton of a pliosaur which now adorns the outside terrace of the centre's café, operated by Taste of the West.

The model is a reproduction of the ferocious predator which once swam in the Jurassic seas around Seaton 150 million years ago. The pliosaur is five metres long and has been designed and manufactured in a way that means children can safely clamber on and explore it.

The model has been funded a £4,000 Tesco Bags of Help donation.

Also new to Seaton Jurassic are models of a prehistoric ichthyosaur and a modern-day dolphin.

Both models are found next to each other cutting through the water of the attraction's infinity pool.

The ichthyosaur lived in the Jurassic Seas around 150 million years ago and grew up to ten metres in length.

One of the first fossil examples of this prehistoric underwater predator, named the Sea Lizard, was discovered at nearby Lyme Regis by famous fossil hunter, Mary Anning, in 1832.

Visitors will also find a bottlenose dolphin of the kind found in UK seas today.

Speaking at the models' uneveiling on Wednesday (September 2) Richard Drysdale, head of visitor centres at Devon Wildlife Trust, said: "The reason why we chose an ichthyosaur and a dolphin is because both creatures show similar adaptations to their undersea environments, despite being separated by millions of years and one being a marine reptile and one a mammal.

"This process is called 'convergent evolution' and is one of the many things people can discover for themselves at Seaton Jurassic."

The models were all specially manufactured in China before being shipped to the UK. A specialist Devon-based company, RhinoPlay, was used for their installation.

Mr Drysdale said: "After months of planning, we are delighted to be revealing our three new models to the public today. Each tells a different part of the Jurassic Coast's story. Whether it's through exploring the skeleton of a fossilised pliosaur, wondering at the beauty of an ichthyosaur from the Jurassic period, or marveling at a leaping dolphin from today's seas we hope these models will make our visitors think about the big questions of evolution, mass extinction and climate change.

"These models are a great addition to what's already here, making Seaton Jurassic the place to come to learn about the past, present and future of this special place."

Seaton Jurassic and its new attractions are open to the public daily until Christmas Eve.

The visitor attraction is hosting a series of events including living history shows and a theatre production of the 'Snow Queen' during the coming months.

To find out more and to plan a visit go to click here

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