Friday, 28 February 2014

The Tetrapod World comes to life at the 55th Annual Bennett Lecture

We are very excited here at the University of Leicester to be hosting Professor Jenny Clack for the 55th Annual Bennett Lecture entitled ‘Life, death and resurrection in the late Palaeozoic’. The lecture is an annual event put on by the Department of Geology, which this year is on Monday 17th March. Jenny will talk about the latest findings from the TW:eed Project and how it is changing our understanding of the evolution of life on land.

The 17th March is the start of National Science and Engineering Week, so this is a great opportunity to have a public lecture about our science. Prior to the lecture we are running an afternoon of science activities for students aged 16-19. These are free to attend and link in with the themes of the lecture on evolution and Earth’s past climates, including a chance to study REAL FOSSILS! Places are still available for the activities and lecture, so do book in now for a fantastic afternoon/evening out. Check out the Bennett Lecture Webpage for more information.

What has been happening with the project recently? I have been continuing my sample processing of material from the core, more about this in the next post. In more exciting news, we had a large team meeting on 31st January at the University of Cambridge, where everyone presented their latest findings. Over 20 team members and supporters were present and it was a packed day of science! You can read all about the latest updates on tetrapods, fish, sharks, sediments, isotopes, palynology, millipedes and MORE in our 6th Newsletter, that is free to download from the TW:eed Website.

While at the meeting I took the opportunity of having my photograph taken next to a life-size drawing of Rhizodus, based on a specimen from the Carboniferous of Scotland. We know these creatures lived alongside the tetrapods – wow!  

Prior to the meeting Tim Kearsey and I also got the chance to examine in detail some of the sediments from which new tetrapod material have been discovered. We examined the sedimentology of a fantastic sample that contains rhizodonts, tetrapods, lungfish, arthropods and more, which can be seen below. The sediments reveal a story of frequent alternations between dry and wet conditions.

The sediment containing new fossil finds

Until next time


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