Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Colour-banded Carboniferous Bivalves

Well, there's a title to get the readers flooding in! But I use this blog as a small act of expiation: when I was a teenager, I would cycle over into the Peak District, Derbyshire, and diligently collect fossils, mainly from the region of Castleton, in the Visean stage B2 limestones. These were fossil reefs from the Carboniferous sea. I've read that where conditions for fossilisation (because of the living animal's normal habitat) are poor, the fossil record perhaps represents 5% of the fauna: but in such locales as a reef limestone, the fossils perhaps show more than 90% of the animals. I picked up some good fossils, at Cow Low, and over at Giant Hole, and some from Parkhouse Hill. In the main, I took them from blocks scattered in the rough pasturage: I did not hammer too much at actual outcrops. Or maybe I did, it is a long time ago now. I have essentially given up field collecting. Among my fossils, I still feel guilty about a particular group of spectacular preservations. These are of bivalves ('Aviculopecten' and, I think, 'Pterinopectinella'), brachipods ('Dialasma hastatum'), and gastropods ('Mourlonia carinata') which retain traces of their original coloration, oh, just a matter of 320 million years on. So, at last I can show something of them to the world, and maybe a researcher might stumble upon them in doing a google search. He or she can get in touch with me.

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