Dorset’s own turtle
This turtle is called Dorsetochelys delairi because it was first found in Dorset. It is also a ‘holotype’, meaning it is the specimen used to describe the species. But there is a big problem with turtles; they tend to be found as either skulls, in this case, or shells (carapace) as with most of the fossil turtles on this database. We don’t know which type of shell this skull belongs to.
Justin Delair, after whome this specimen was named (along with Dorset), was the Assistant Curator [Geology] at the Dorset County Museum for much of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1957 he published a major catalogue of the Museum’s Mesozoic Reptiles, which later became the foundation for the Museum’s Accessions Register. In later years Mr Delair became involved with the Bournemouth Natural Science Society and served as their President for some years.
Find out more on the reptiles page.