Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Terrestrial Tetrapods



Last week we held our ninth team meeting of the TW:eed Team, this time at the University of Leicester. 

As always it was a busy meeting packed full of scientific discoveries and was really inspiring! Jenny Clack and Tim Smithson revealed some fascinating work they have been doing to identify evidence of a terrestrial mode of life in the fossilised tetrapod bones. This new work is really exciting and examines many different lines of evidence from the new specimens we have found, comparing them to Devonian and Late Carboniferous tetrapods.

Sarah Davies presented work in collaboration with Janet Sherwin on the more marine sequences from Northumberland, and how they differ from the Tweed Basin. I talked about the sedimentology of tetrapod sites and what it can tell us. We hear the latest on the palynology work from Emma Reeves and John Marshall, with huge datasets coming together that will help us both correlate the tetrapod sites, and learn more about the vegetation and climate. University of Leicester Master’s students Levi Curry and Hattie Dulson led a workshop on microfossils and their research projects.
 
Members of the TW:eed Team at the University of Leicester
As a team we are working on many new research papers and presenting at upcoming conferences – as the project is drawing to a close this year it is great that our results are coming together – we now have a much better picture of the ancient tetrapod world and early life on land.

Floodplain lake reconstruction scene, with a large rhizodont, gyracanthids, lungfish and actinopterygians, copyright Mark Witton.
We are all very excited about the Fossil Hunters museum exhibit that is opening soon! At the meeting we watched previews of the videos being used in the exhibit, its fantastic! Here is another reconstruction scene from the exhibit, drawn by palaeo artist Mark Witton – wow!

Until next time
Carys