Elizabeth Nicholls

2000 Laureate, Exploration
Canada, 1945-2004

Project Goal

Extract the fossilised remains of a 220-million-year-old marine reptile

Location: Canada

"Finding a fossil is like discovering a lost page in the history of our planet."

The untimely death of Elizabeth Nicholls in October 2004 deeply saddened all those who knew her and appreciated her boundless enthusiasm and determination. The Canadian-American palaeontologist overcame numerous obstacles to extract the fossilised remains of a 220-million-year-old, giant marine reptile in a remote region of Canada. Her colleagues will continue to study this exceptional example of prehistoric animal life, which is being put on public display in summer 2008 and summer 2009.


age, in years, of the ichthyosaur fossil Nicholls extracted from a limestone bed


length, in metres, of the icthyosaur, the largest prehistoric marine reptile ever found


weight, in tonnes, of the ichthyosaur fossil's skull


years it took to remove the ichthyosaur from its limestone matrix

Other 2000 Laureates