The Museum Of The Mundane

During the summer of 2020, I posed a question to the BDP volunteer community. I asked them to rummage through their collections and present what they felt was “the most underwhelming fossil or rock” in there. The dream was to create the most disappointing show and tell the palaeontology world has ever seen. I can happily report, the people heeded the call.

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How Fast Was My Dinosaur?

Guest Author: Dr Rachel Kruft Welton
Current Palaeontology MSc Student

In 2013 we went on holiday to Portugal. It was blisteringly hot every day and sightseeing involved an effort of will. I was, however, not going to miss out on the famous dinosaur tracks that litter the Lusitanian Basin around Lisbon. We parked next to the Nossa Senhora de Cabo on the Espichel Coast and made our way over the cliffs, down a stony path. We were near two sites containing trackways: one called Pedra da Mua and the other called Lagosteiros. (more…)

My Top Three Lagerstätten

Guest Author: Dr Rachel Kruft Welton
Current Palaeobiology MSc Student, University of Bristol

Lagerstätten are fossil deposits containing exceptionally preserved remains of creatures from the past. Often soft parts have been preserved and snap-shots of organisms in life-like positions have been captured. The creation of such a fossil deposit is an enormously rare event, and as such, Lagerstätten have been enthusiastically studied.

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In The Field – Polish-Mongolia Expeditions 1963 – 1971 (Part 2)

This is Part Two of a blog about these expeditions – For Part One, follow this link!

Guest Author – James Ormiston
Bristol Palaeontology MSci Graduate / Palaeo Artist

Mongolia’s ancient underbelly had proved so productive that after suspending fieldwork for one year, the Polish returned in 1967 for another three year stint. This was a smaller scale operation, like in 1963, aimed not at excavating but prospecting. They were accompanied this time by only one member of the Mongolian team for each year, joined also by a car and driver. Returning to the Flaming Cliffs in search of Cretaceous mammals, this cluster of mini-expeditions turned out 20 mammal specimens, as many lizards and a crocodilian.

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In The Field – Polish-Mongolia Expeditions 1963 – 1971 (Part 1)

Guest Author – James Ormiston
Bristol Palaeontology MSci Graduate / Palaeo Artist

Of the many countries around the world that have seen palaeontologists scouring their strata for fossils, Mongolia is one of the most intriguing and inspiring. Landlocked and sandwiched between its neighbouring geographical behemoths, Russia and China, Mongolia is itself a very large country. Across 1.5 million square kilometres The Country of Blue Sky’s expanse covers parts of the Altai Mountains in the north, the Gobi Desert in the south, and vast grassland steppes in between. Such a landscape, along with its sparse human population, certainly calls to mind the kind of place where you’d expect to see a small gaggle of sunburnt scientists under their wide-brimmed hats chipping away at nature’s time capsules. And since the early 20th Century that’s exactly what has happened.

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