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2008-10-24 – UK: Riscoperto dopo 150 anni sito con resti fossili eccezionalmente preservati (exceptional fossil preservation)

In Gran Bretagna riscoperto dopo 150 anni un sito che aveva fornito numerosi eccezionali ritrovamenti di pescsi e calamari con resti di parti molli risalenti al Giurassico.
October 24, 2008

 Jurassic treasure trove lost by Victorians found by Phil Wilby, fossil sleuth

Phil Wilby
 [Photo: Phil Wilby with a fossilised ammonite found at the site near Christian Malford]

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One of the world’s most valuable fossil beds has been rediscovered, having been forgotten during Victorian times. Fossils recovered near Christian Malford in Wiltshire caused a sensation when they were unearthed in 1840 because they were the first to include the flesh of Jurassic wildlife.

Phil Wilby, of the British Geological Survey, has now rediscovered the site and led the first dig there in more than 150 years. He hopes that freshly recovered fossils can help to explain why tens of thousands of animals died simultaneously in episodes repeated many times over about a million years.

Fossil hunters and academics flocked to the area in the 1840s and 1850s to dig out extraordinarily well-preserved specimens of fish and squid-like creatures. But despite its importance as an extremely rare source of fossilised soft tissues preserved along with hard bones and shells, the location of the site was lost.

None of the Victorians who visited the site, even leading researchers from universities and museums, recorded the precise place and, when digging ended, the location was forgotten.





Original scientific article:

Volume 24 Issue 3, Pages 95 - 98

Geology Today

Geology Today – Volume 24 Issue 3, Pages 95 – 98

Preserving the unpreservable: a lost world rediscovered at Christian Malford, UK

Philip R. Wilby 1 , Keith Duff 2 , Kevin Page 3 & Susan Martin 1
 1 British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK.;   2 Department of Geology, University of Leicester, Bennett Building, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.   3 School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK.
Copyright © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

The small village of Christian Malford, Wiltshire (UK) is known to palaeontologists the world over because of the chance discovery of an astonishing fossil bonanza in the mid-nineteenth century. Pits in the Jurassic Oxford Clay yielded thousands of specimens of exquisitely preserved ammonites, fish and crustaceans, but became most famous for squid-like cephalopods and belemnites (collectively termed coleoids) with fossilized soft-parts. The precise location of the find has remained obscure, until now, and a new attempt is underway to understand the ancient environment that triggered this unusual preservation.

Published Online: 6 May 2008


ottobre 24, 2008 - Posted by | - Pesci / Fishes, 2 Jurassic / Giurassico, Articolo sc. di riferimento, Curiosità, Europa, Italiano (riassunto), P - Preservazione eccezionale, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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