Off to the field!

Just a quick post to say that I’m off to do some fieldwork! I’ll be away for about a month, so blogging will be on hiatus until then.

In the meantime, I thought I’d leave you all with some pictures from a variety of awesome places I’ve visited over the years. They’re all from right here in the UK – our little island really does have some wonderful sites!

They’re all definitely worth a visit, so get out there this summer and satisfy your scientific wanderlust!

ammonites

 

Lyme Regis (Monmouth Beach) 

If you’re looking for ammonites then Lyme Regis has you covered! The left image shows a large limestone ledge packed full of ammonites, the right shows a close up of one ammonite [Blogger’s foot for scale].

Lyme Regis and the surrounding area is home to a wonderful array of fossils, and has earned its place in the history books as the site where Mary Anning discovered an array of marine reptiles. The first Ichthyosaur and the first Plesiosaur to be scientifically described were collected from these shores.

prominant folds in stair's hole (purbeck)

Stair’s Hole (Lulworth)

Staying in the South West of England, this photo shows ‘Stair’s Hole’ – the site of some cracking Limestone folds!

This site is on Britain’s ‘Jurassic Coast’ (a natural World Heritage Site) that contains rocks spanning the Mesozoic Era. It’s full of beautiful places to visit including the nearby Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Also, if you want more fossils – an excellent museum in nearby Kimmeridge has recently opened, exhibiting the wonderful collection of Steve Etches.

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Millook Haven

Do I need to say anything more for this picture? That is folding!

Millook Haven has some of the most spectacular folding you’ll see in the UK. As such, it’s a classic site for geology fieldtrips!

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The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (London)

I couldn’t resist putting a picture of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs in here. Opening in 1854, the grounds of the Crystal Palace Park contained an array of wonderful sculptures, many of which can still be seen today. They were the world’s first life size reconstructions of dinosaurs (and a whole load of other extinct animals!).

Here, I’m showing a small selection of the models: from right to left are reconstructions of Ichthyosaurus, followed by Plesiosaurus, Teleosaurus and Megalosaurus on the far left.

NHM

The Natural History Museum (London)

One of my favourite places in the UK – the stunning Natural History Museum. Not only does it have tonnes of awesome exhibits, but it’s also a really beautiful building. The left picture shows me standing in front of the first Icthyosaur to be scientifically described (skull bottom left) and the right shows the exterior of the museum.

Also, they’ve just opened the revamped Hintze Hall, featuring an impressive 25-metre blue whale skeleton. Definitely worth a visit!

IoW

The Isle of Wight

Another site famous for its fossils! Perhaps most striking are the numerous fossil footprints that can be found on the Isle of Wight. At sites such as Hanover Point, footprints and tracks from various dinosaurs can be seen on the beaches. The left picture shows a particularly nice one, blogger’s foot for scale! The right picture shows a view along the coast.

wollatonhall

Dinosaurs of China (Wollaton Hall, Nottingham)

Very recently I had the chance to visit the excellent Dinosaurs of China exhibition that is currently running at Wollaton Hall. [Left picture shows the beautiful Wollaton Hall].

It’s only there until the 29th October, so do go and see it if you have the chance! They have a great array of really spectacular fossils from China e.g. The right picture shows me standing next to a specimen of Sinosauropteryx – the first feathered dinosaur ever described!

Arran

The Isle of Arran

Another classic geology fieldtrip location – the Isle of Arran is densely packed with awesome geology. To name a few, you can see the famous Hutton’s Unconformity, Arthropleura trackways and also the imposing Drumadoon Sill (shown in the right image).

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The Isle of Skye

Beautiful. If you want awesome hiking, then Skye is the place. This image was taken on a boat trip out to Loch Coruisk. Again, it’s packed full of great places to visit – far too many to mention here! For one, you can see Lewisian gneisses on the Sleat Peninsula on Skye – these rocks were formed around 2,800 million years ago and are some of the oldest in Europe!

References / suggestions for further reading

Jurassic Coast.org – http://jurassiccoast.org/ – Information about the Jurassic Coast

UCL – https://www.ucl.ac.uk/earth-sciences/study/fieldwork/sw-england/cornwall/bude – UCL have a fieldtrip that goes down to the South West of England, they’ve put up some really nice videos describing Millook and other sites.

The Geological Society – https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/GeositesMillook – the entry on Millook Haven as part of their 100 Great Geosites – the others listed on this website are also worth a look!

Friends of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – http://cpdinosaurs.org/ – lots of information on the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs and how to visit!

Natural History Museum – http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/galleries-and-museum-map/hintze-hall.html – details of the shiny new Hintze Hall

Pond, S., Lockley, M. G., Lockwood, J. A. F., Breithaupt, B. H. & Matthews, N. A. Tracking Dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight: A review of tracks, sites, and current research. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 113, 737–757 (2014) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12340 – paper on tracks present on the Isle of Wight

Dinosaurs of China – http://www.dinosaursofchina.co.uk/ – general information about the summer exhibit

Scottish Natural Heritage – they’ve put up some really well explained (and free!) guides to the geology of Arran and Skye

 

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