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photograph by Taylor Dabney
Hamadachelys escuilliei, Upper Cretaceous, ~95 Ma, Kem-Kem beds, Ifezouane Formation DrĂ¢a-Tafilalet Region, Morocco. Lent courtesy the David and Jean Hutchison Collection.
Feb 02, 2017
throughDec 08, 2017
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Turtles in Time: From Fossils to the Present is on view in the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature, University of Richmond Museums, February 2 through December 8, 2017.  Selected primarily from the collection of David and Jean Hutchison, the exhibition features more than fifty fossil turtle specimens from around the world, dating from the Jurassic to the Pleistocene eras and includes turtles from the present time. The exhibition highlights these amazing animals, draws attention to their complex history, and encourages an understanding about how they are threatened in today’s ecosystems.

Among the most specialized of vertebrates, turtles evolved well over 200 million years ago and have endured as one of the most successful groups of amniotes. Their most obvious feature, the shell, represents a tremendous evolutionary innovation that has ensured their survival but has also set limitations on their form. Despite the wealth of known fossil species, much of the early evolutionary history of the group remains controversial. The exhibition presents several different fossil turtle species and describes their associated environments. Specimens range from a 150-million-year-old Glytops from the Jurassic Morrison Formation in Wyoming to recent Terrapene shells from Pleistocene deposits near Tampa, Florida. Several shells, skulls and even an egg clutch of Stylemys and Gopherus from the Oligocene of South Dakota will also be on display. Rare specimens will include Manchurochelys from Lower Cretaceous deposits in China and Eurysternum from Upper Jurassic deposits in Germany.

Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was curated by Matthew Houle, Curator of Museum Collections, University Museums, and David Hutchison, independent scholar and collector. Presented in cooperation with the University’s Department of Biology, the exhibition and related programs are made possible in part with support from the University’s Cultural Affairs Committee.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 6 to 8 p.m.
6 p.m., Conversation, International Center Commons
“Turtles in Time and Space: A Conversation” Robert McCord, Curator of Natural History, Arizona Museum of Natural History, Mesa, and David Hutchison, independent scholar and collector, and co-curator of the exhibition
7 to 8 p.m., Reception and viewing of the exhibition Turtles in Time: From Fossils to the Present
Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature

Sunday, April 2, 2017, 1 to 3 p.m.
University Museums Family Day, Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature
Join us for a FREE! arts-centered family fun day with art and science exhibitions, hands-on art activities, refreshments, and story time.

Sunday, April 2, 2017, 2 to 2:30 p.m.
Museum Story Time for Children, Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature
Reading from Cathryn Falwell‘s book Turtle Splash! Countdown at the Pond
In conjunction with University Museums Family Day

Sunday, April 30, 2017, 2 to 2:45 p.m.
Museum Story Time for Children, Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature
Reading from David Goldin’s book Meet Me at the Museum
Followed by an art activity
Free, reservations recommended, call Martha Wright, Coordinator of Visitor and Tour Services,
University Museums, at 804-287-1258, or email

"Turtles in Time and Space: A Conversation"

Turtles in Time: From Fossils to the Present

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