Author: SGT Web

And the winners are …

fossilfiveinviteThanks to everyone who voted for Scotland’s favourite fossils. We’re delighted to announce that the Fossil Five are …

1. Devonian Fish: Fossils from the Devonian ‘Age of Fishes’ are found across Scotland, recording a time when life flourished in rivers and lakes.

2. Jurassic dinosaurs of the Isle of Skye: Fossilised footprints and bone remains found on the Isle of Skye show that rarely-preserved Middle Jurassic dinosaurs once roamed there.

3. Early tetrapods: The search for the missing link between amphibians and land-dwelling reptiles has been greatly enhanced by fossil discoveries in Scotland.

4. Trilobites: Perhaps one of the most recognisable fossils, slater-like trilobites of all different shapes and sizes can be found across Lowland Scotland.

5. Fossil trees: During the late Carboniferous period around 310 million years ago, the Scottish Lowlands were covered in dense tropical rainforest.

You can read more about all these groups, and other important fossils in the Scotland’s Fossils section.

New Scottish Ichthyosaur identified

Exciting news about the identification of a new species of Ichthyosaur – Dearcmhara shawcrossi – unique to Scotland, and identified from middle Jurassic rocks in the Isle of Skye. A team lead by Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, discovered the specimen in bones collected on Skye in 1959.

Dearcmhara _Final

The reconstruction above by the artist Todd Marshall, and provided by the PalAlba group, shows what the 4-metre long ichthyosaur might have looked like!


Fossil Day Sunday 18th Jan at Dynamic Earth Edinburgh

Fossil Day at Our Dynamic Earth is a free one-day event celebrating outstanding fossils from Scotland and further afield. More than 10 different organisations including the University of Edinburgh, British Geological Survey and National Museums of Scotland will display selected paleontological discoveries, some of which will be on public display for the very first time! A fantastic range of fossils will reveal the diverse evolutionary record found in the rocks around us and showcase current paleontological research projects. Come along to vote for your favourite Scottish Fossil, find out more about the Scottish Fossil Code and marvel at the strange and wonderful ancient creatures that inhabited Earth before us.

We also have a free fun and interactive workshop available ‘Hugh Miller & the Fabulous Fossil Fish‘. Find out what a fossil is and how do they form. Workshop is available at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on  Sunday 18th January suitable for ages 8-12, sign up available on the day.

100 great geosites – find out more!

With almost 40 of the 100 great geosites located in Scotland, obviously this is the place to head for if you want to bag some geo-selfies and join in the fun! Not all of the sites have easily-available further information (and that’s part of the joy of exploring) but here are some links to follow:

Geosites numbers 1. Foreland Mountains, 35. Arnaboll, 38. Laxford Brae, 41. Knockan Crag, 69. Smoo cave, 71. Achmelvich, 77. Scourie More, 79. Assynt unconformity and 83. Glencoul are all in the Northwest Highlands Geopark. Check out the Rock Route for more information about these sites and many more in the area!

3. Siccar Point is described as the most important geological site in the world, and is one of our Classic Sites on this website.

10. Glencoe, 17. Ardnamurchan ring complex, 84. The Muidhe, 93. The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy and 99. Isle of Rum are in the Lochaber Geopark.

More classic sites on this website – 18. Loch Tarbert on Jura, 30. Trotternish, and 36. Glen Tilt.

Finally (for now) check out Geopark Shetland for more information about 52. Uyea, 78. Funzie conglomerate and 81. the Moho.

And please check out our publications page for links to further information about other areas of Scotland!

100 Great Geosites – the final list

Assynt 460x280.ashx
Image: British Geological Survey P000827

The Geological Society has launched a list of 100 great Geosites across the UK and Ireland, celebrating some of the most diverse and beautiful geology in the world, spanning most of geological time, from the oldest Pre-Cambrian rocks to the youngest Quarternary sediments.

Scotland is well represented, with nearly 40 of the top 100 sites, including top picks of the foreland mountains of Assynt, Siccar Point and Glencoe.

Browse the full list at – and get out there and explore!