Dine out on dino stories at Fossil Festival

Dorset Echo: Kimberly Clarke director of Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and Philip Clayton curator of the Town Mill galleries Kimberly Clarke director of Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and Philip Clayton curator of the Town Mill galleries

DISCOVER dinosaurs like you’ve never seen them before at an exhibition now on display.

Dr Mark Witton, who specialises in ‘paleoart,’ a specialist branch of natural history art dedicated to reconstructing fossil species, will be holding the exhibition in Lyme Regis until the end of the Fossil Festival on May 4.

Organisers also say the exhibition, at the Town Mill, has already attracted significant footfall in just its first week of opening.

Dr Witton’s gallery will display over 40 intricately drawn images of fossil creatures as they may have appeared millions of years ago, with some art also shown in a rolling presentation.

He said: “It was an honour to be asked to exhibit at the fair, which attracts thousands of visitors.

“Paleoart is tremendously important to palaeontological and scientific education, but rarely given pride of place in the public eye.

“I hope visitors to the exhibit not only enjoy the reconstructions but also learn about the skills involved with bringing fossil animals back to life.

“They may be surprised how confident we can be about the life appearance of some exotic fossil species, but more familiar ones can present real problems for artists.”

Dr Witton, who has designed prehistoric characters and advised on the life appearance of fossil species in films such as Flying Monsters 3D and Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, will be at the gallery during the Fossil Festival to talk with visitors.

The exhibition includes replica fossils of some of the animals depicted in the artworks, as well as several from university research projects.

At the other end of the scale is a tiny extinct crocodile skull, which was discovered recently on the Isle of Wight in two halves by different people months apart and was later matched as one complete fossil.

Admission to the gallery is free, from 10.30am to 4.30pm daily.

For more information call 01297 443579.

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