Shoreline fossils and natural history


Fossils found locally in the London Clay include plants, crabs, sharks, snakes, crocodiles, sea turtles and even birds!

Visit the Museum to see:

  • A 50 million year old fish head from a time when Whitstable was part of a shallow tropical sea fringed with lush forests.

Over the last 2.5 million years there have been several ice ages, though the bones of Hippopotamus and straight-tusked elephant found nearby show that in between the ice ages there were warm periods often lasting 10,000 years or more.

Visit the Museum to see:

  • A mammoth tusk found at Swalecliffe from the last Ice Age.

The natural history of the Oyster Coast

The shallow nutrient-rich waters along the coast provide ideal feeding grounds for migratory birds and a perfect environment for oysters, for which Whitstable is famous. Midden deposits found in Canterbury during archaeological digs are full of oyster shells which show that they were a significant part of the Roman diet. Because of the area’s geological importance and the diversity of wildlife, much of the coast here is part of the Thanet Coast SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).