Once upon a time, 200 million years ago, dolphin-like marine reptiles, or ichthyosaurs, like this one roamed the Jurassic Sea. About 200 years ago, Mary Anning, mother of paleontology, found this ichthyosaur fossil along the craggy cliffs of England's southern coast.
If fossils could talk, what would this ichthyosaur say? What could it tell us about the experiences of its collector, Mary Anning, who was widely excluded from scientific circles of her day? And what could it tell us about Adam Sedgwick, who purchased it—possibly with the money that he gained from the labour of enslaved people? What stories of power and memory, gender and colonialism, could this ichthyosaur bring to life?
Written by Annabel Worth, Kirsten Huffer and Emma Pratt
Read by Kirsten Huffer and Annabel Worth
Audio editing and soundscape by Emma Pratt
This audio was created as part of Museum Remix 2023, coinciding with the University of Cambridge Museums’ programme of Power and Memory.