Category: Uncategorized

Geobus – enthusing school pupils

Good to see the Geobus already so well established and so successful in achieving their aims as well as securing funding. This is an initiative of a group of dedicated people from the Department of Earth Sciences, St Andrews University, who drive a van packed with teaching resources and visit schools all over the country. Wherever they stop they enthuse and inspire the pupils about learning geosciences

Fight to save geology in Scots schools

Good article by Rob Edwards in the Sunday Herald highlighting the demise of Higher Geology and the overall lack of geology teaching in Scotland.

“It is truly perverse that a nation with an economy fuelled by offshore oil and gas reserves revealed by geologists, and that draws tourists to an intricate but majestic rocky landscape unravelled by geologists, is dropping that very subject from its advanced school curriculum”, Prof Iain Stewart

Edinburgh lectures: Scotland, Naturally!

The theme for this year’s series is ‘Scotland, Naturally!’ and aims to celebrate the rich natural heritage we have at our finger tips. The series includes ….

Professor Aubrey Manning: Scotland’s Place in Earth’s History
Date: Wednesday 27th February 2013, 6.00pm
Venue:  Playfair Library Hall, Old College, The University of Edinburgh

Professor Iain Stewart: Scotland Rocks
Date:  Wednesday 6 March 2013, 6.00pm
Venue:  Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery

You can book tickets from the website

Old Croc in Museum

T.-lythrodectikos-1024x439Contributed by Neil Clark, Hunterian Museum: A recent paper (Young et al.,2013) describes a new genus and species of fully aquatic metriorhynchid crocodile from the 163 million year old mudstones near Peterborough in England named Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos (“blood-biting tyrant-swimmer”). This animal was found in the old brick pits in the late 19th century, or early 20th century, and collected by Alfred Nicholson Leeds, a dedicated and knowledgeable collector of fossils. A very large part of his collections came to the Hunterian in the University of Glasgow after he died in 1917, as his wife originally came from Glasgow. It is only recently that the metriorhynchids from his collection have been researched in detail by Dr Mark Young and colleagues in an international collaboration that included Dr Jeff Liston, a former member of the Hunterian staff, as co-author. The article illustrates that the new crocodile is the oldest known large-bodied predatory metriorhynchid and the first to have separate denticles on the tooth ridges. The gape of this smooth-skinned 4 metre long crocodile is also larger suggesting that it was able to predate upon larger prey than other similar crocodiles. Leeds also mentioned that he thought that this specimen represented something special, but it has taken over 100 years for scientists to show that this is the case.


Young, M. T., Brandalise de Andrade, M., Brusatte, S. L., Sakamoto, M. & Liston, J. J. (2013): The oldest known metriorhynchid super-predator: a new genus and species from the Middle Jurassic of England, with implications for serration and mandibular evolution in predacious clades. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2012.704948

Earth Heritage 39 published

If you don’t already read the geoconservation publication, Earth Heritage, then perhaps you might like to try it.  The latest issue, number 39, has just been posted on the website and it is there to view and download free.
Earth Heritage is full of interesting news and features on geological and landscape conservation and related issues and I very much hope you take a look.   Earth Heritage is produced by Scottish Nature Heritage, Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales and the Geologists’ Association in association with GeoConservationUK and others in the voluntary geoconservation sector.

Lecture: the life of trilobites

Central Scotland Regional Group of The Geological Society January Lecture

‘The life of Trilobites’ Professor Euan Clarkson MA, PhD, DSc (Edin), FRSE, Professor Emeritus and Senior Honorary Professorial Fellow University of Edinburgh

Venue; Hutton Lecture Theatre, Grant Institute,The King’s Buildings,West Mains Road,Edinburgh EH9 3JW

Tuesday 15th January 2013 17.45 For 18.00 – All Welcome