FROM exquisite starfish to terrifying teeth, finding fossils in Dorset has become a whole lot easier thanks to a new online database.

The Jurassic Coast Fossil Finder showcases almost 1,000 fossils at the click of a mouse.

It holds information about examples held by museums along the Dorset and East Devon Coast.

Some of the specimens date back over 500 million years, with each fossil individually photographed by a professional and accompanied by a magnifier.

A number of the fossils have also been photographed in 360 degrees.

Each fossil comes with a detailed description and a fact sheet containing scientific data.

Cllr Colin Jamieson, Dorset County Council cabinet member for public health and community, said: “This is a fantastic resource, not just locally but globally. The Jurassic Coast has a wealth of fossils, and the database means that anyone can access them from anywhere.”

The Fossil Finder also includes more general information about fossil types and how they relate to modern-day creatures still in existence.

Richard Edmonds, Jurassic Coast earth science manager and consultant on the project, said: “We were careful to write the text so that there is something for everyone – from fun and accessible facts for children and beginners, to more in- depth information for specialists and students of geology. We hope the Fossil Finder will capture people’s imaginations and inspire them to go and see the fossils for real in the museums.”

The project was run by the Jurassic Coast Museums Partnership, and supported by Arts Council England, Natural England and the Museums Advisory Service at Dorset County Council.

Start searching for the different types of fossil near you at