Monday, 27 April 2015

Incredible Ichnofossils



Last Friday Tim Kearsey, Dave Millward and I were joined by Andy Howard from the BGS, a TW:eed Project partner who is an expert in ichnofossils.

We had a day out at the main field site in the Scottish Borders, walking through the 500 metre succession to study the ichnofossils present in the rocks. Ichnofossils are trace fossils, burrows and trackways in the sediments that were formed during the feeding or movement of animals across or in the sediment, for example worm burrows. We were interested in seeing what these looked like in the field section as you can get a really good look at the rocks in 3D, comparing what the traces look like on the surface and within the rock layers.


Carys Bennett, Andy Howard and Dave Millward examining ichnofossils in a sandstone block

The day started out very grey and misty, but then brightened up later on. We found some very interesting medium-sized burrows on a large sandstone block that had fallen off the cliff. And also lots of smaller burrow within the silts and cementstones.



Andy Howard and I examining the burrow within cementstones
This work is helping to piece together more information about the complex environments that existed when the tetrapods were evolving at this time. For example some of the burrows indicate that marine conditions existed at certain times, while others are quite different.
The day started out very grey and misty, but then brightened up later on. We found some very interesting medium-sized burrows on a large sandstone block that had fallen off the cliff. And also lots of smaller burrow within the silts and cementstones. 

The week before I presented on the TW:eed Project at the annual general meeting of the European Geosciences Union. The conference was in Vienna, which is a wonderful city to visit. The talk was called ‘A multi-proxy approach to identifying short-lived marine incursions in the Early Carboniferous’ and I presented data on the sediments, fossils and isotopes. The talk was an example of just how multi-disciplinary this project is, incorporating the results of many members of Team TW:eed to understand how life and the climate evolved in the Early Carboniferous. 
 
Sunny weather for the EGU conference in Vienna
This week I am preparing for our bi-annual TW:eed Project meeting, which takes place in Cambridge next week. I cant wait to catch up with all the latest new from the team.

Until next time
Carys