After the bony fish, reptiles are the most common vertebrates to be found on Sheppey. In particular turtles, fragments of which are quite commonly found. Complete specimens of either the skull or the shell are extremely rare. Crocodiles are the most uncommon. Only two complete skulls have been found in the past six years. Both are figured here, and the diplocynodon is a new species for Sheppey. Snake vertebra are usually found singly in the pyrite accumulations. Rarely articulated vertebra are found in phosphatic nodules. The nodule showing the snake skull is the only known example.
Trionyx sp. (Moody)
The specimens shown on these pages represent the best that can be expected to be found on Sheppey. Usually found as fragments, turtle fossils are quite common, however the fossils shown here are unique in their preservation.
Crocodiles & Snake
Lizard cranium
Individual vertebra and scutes of crocodiles are found periodically in the pyrite accumulations or loose on the foreshore. Complete specimens are very rare, only two complete skulls have been found in recent years. C. spenceri was found by two different collectors days apart, on the foreshore separated by the force of a storm. The Diplocynodon was found with the best part of the bones loose in the clay around a cement stone containing the skull. Tropical sea snake vertebra can be found in the pyrite accumulations on the beach. Occasionally phosphatic nodules containing rows of articulated vertebra can be found.