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Harvesting the extinct Bennettitales

Just as the animal kingdom lost some remarkable designs during the mass extinction events that punctuated the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic (consider the disappearance of the novel carapaces of trilobites and the aerofoils of pterosaurs), so […]

A fossil sword pommel from Malaya

Fossil hunters have a well-deserved reputation for finding rare things in difficult places. However, there are times when fossils are ‘hidden’ in plain sight as material for the decorative arts. While not as informative as […]...

A tale of amateur and professional cooperation: Flexomornis howei

When you think of Texas, what comes to mind? It may be wide open spaces, longhorn cattle, cowboys and ten gallon hats. Now, there’s something else to add to the list – the oldest, definitive […]...

Project Emerging: Zoophycos

“ … And yet we cannot hope to describe all of the natural happenings of our world; and thus impossible it seems to be to explain all of these unexplainable things …” JL Alléon-Dulac, 1765, […]...

Shedding light on an isolated skull: a newly described elasmosaur skeleton from the Late Cretaceous of Morocco

The bodiless plesiosaur In 2011, a plesiosaur specimen, consisting of an isolated and crushed skull, was described. The collected skull sadly lacked any postcranial remains, but was identified as an elasmosaurid plesiosaur and considered to […]

Fossil insects from the Lower Cretaceous of southern England

It was over 150 years ago that the first major work began on the fossil insects of the Lower Cretaceous of England. The pioneers were Victorian naturalists, including the Rev Osmond Fisher, John O Westwood […]...

Jamaican fossil crabs

Decapod crustaceans (crabs) are among the most attractive of fossils. Yet, the beautifully preserved specimens seen in museum displays and dealers’ catalogues are in stark contrast with the usual haul of the collector, that is, [?...

Thomas Jefferson’s mammoth problem

Author of the Declaration of Independence, creator of the University of Virginia, a Founding Father and third president of the USA, Thomas Jefferson was a pioneer. Of this, you are undoubtedly aware. And, like most […]...

Diadematoid echinoids: a cryptic part of the tropical fossil record

The writers of holiday brochures invariably fail to mention, let alone emphasise, the bad points of a location. For example, I’ve lived in both Jamaica and the Netherlands, and, for me, the thing that unites […]...

The geology of the Falkland Islands

Plate tectonics have produced some surprising juxtapositions, as the earth’s continental fragments have drifted and jostled over the eons. Microplates seem to have enjoyed most freedom of movement and none more so than that supporting […]

Invertebrate fossils from the Lower Muschelkalk of Winterswijk, The Netherlands

During the Muschelkalk part of the Ansian (240mya), the Central European area (Germany, Poland, Denmark, The Netherlands and north-eastern France) was covered by a shallow sea, referred to as the Muschelkalk Sea. While there were [?...

A Journey through Geopark Shetland

In September 2009, the Shetland Islands were awarded the accolade of becoming the thirty-fifth European Geopark. This is fantastic news for the isles. It acknowledges the importance of Shetland’s incredible geology and creates opportunities to […]

On the trail of Shetland’s Volcano

For a land area of just 1,468km2, yet within a staggering 2,731km of coastline, Shetland has probably the most complex and diverse geology and geomorphology to be found anywhere in the World. Part of Shetland’s […]...

A fossil hunter’s guide to the southeast Yorkshire coast

The stretch of coast from Speeton to Holderness is often forgotten by tourists and fossil collectors alike; certainly compared with places such as Whitby or destinations along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. However, the shore […]...

The Regale of France: Henry VIII’s lost ruby

Glittering jewels, precious metals and religious relics – ranging from a spine from the Crown of Thorns to a twig from the Burning Bush, and sundry relics of saints – were important to all medieval […]...

Urban geology: New Red Sandstone at Amsterdam Airport

In a country with a limited resource of pre-Quaternary geology in outcrop, the Netherlands nevertheless has a wealth of rock types in building stones (Donovan, 2015a; Donovan and Madern, in press), street furniture (Donovan, 2015b) […]

Thrihnukagigur

In 2012, my wife Chris and I booked a volcano tour around the north of Iceland. At the time, it was our third visit to the country, so we knew of extra things we wanted to […]...

World earthquakes

For millions of people in the western part of Sichuan province in China, the morning of 12 May 2008 started out as a day like any other. People left their homes for work as usual, […]...

Pico Partido: volcanic perfection in the Canaries

Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Canaries, less than 100 miles (about 150km) off the coast of Morocco. It is part of Spain, but not officially in the European Union and Pico Partido is […]...

Volcanoes and the Making of Scotland

I remember reading and enjoying this book when the first edition came out many years ago. I am also a keen hillwalker and have stood on top of many of the Scottish mountains referred to […]...

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