Building our new Gorgosaurus!

We’ve got a brand new dinosaur called Gorgosaurus on loan!

Here’s how we got on building it:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis fabulous new cast was found in 1997 in Montana, USA. Find out more about it’s discovery.

It has hot footed it’s way from London after being on display at the Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society.

Thanks to Kate Sherburn for the images.

Amazing sea urchin, 100 million years old!

I came across this amazing sea urchin (echinoid) during my research for the new Living Planet Gallery.

It is about 100 million years old from the Cretaceous Chalk, probably from either Flamborough Head in North Yorkshire, or the South Downs around Dover. These areas are known for their towering white cliffs which were formed when there were warm tropical seas covering Britain.

This is a spectacular example of a sea urchin as it still has the spines attached. The spines were used for moving about and defense and usually break off after the animal died. The conditions must have been very quiet so that it was not disturbed and the spines remained intact.

A really beautiful specimen!

Palaeontology International Rescue (well Wigan anyway) – Part 1

Last week, David Green (Curator of rock and minerals) and I went to Wigan & Leigh College Museum to have a look at the collection. Unfortunately, this small museum is closing down at the end of the month and is trying to find a home for its collections.

Wigan & Leigh College Geology Museum

The museum was formed in 1883 and was set us as a teaching museum for the college, which was at the centre of the north-west coal mining industry. The collapse of the coal industry in Britain means there is no demand for these courses anymore.

David and I went to see what we would like to acquire for the museum in Manchester. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was really impressed by the quality of some of the specimens from Solnhofen Limestone fossils, to amber and trilobites.

Solnhofen Limestone fossils

Gastrioceras from Upholland

Unfortunately, we don’t have enough room in our stores to acquire the whole collection, but along with the World Museum, Liverpool we will make sure we save the most valuable and important specimens.

We are planning to go across next week on our rescue mission. I’ll keep you posted.

Velociraptor eating another dinosaur found!

It’s great to be back after the Easter break. I came across this interesting article this morning.

The real significance is that it records behavior, which is almost never preserved in the fossil record.

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