Ancient calamari

Submitted by Matt Williams on

Professor Malcolm Hart, Emeritus Professor at Plymouth University, visited BRLSI this week. On Thursday evening he gave a lecture to Bath Geological Society and on Friday morning he spent a few productive hours peering down a binocular microscope at fossil cephalopods.

Though a micro-palaeontologist throughout his career, including helping the navigation and construction of the channel tunnel through biostratigraphical methods, in recent years Professor Hart has also been studying the morphology of Jurassic cephalopod hooklets, the hard hooks belonging to the tentacles of squid and their near relatives.

In the BRLSI collection Malcolm was able to study fossils from the Wilshire locality of Christian Malford, the Somerset locality of Strawberry Bank, and most interestingly in this particular case, the gut contents of an ichthyosaur from the ‘Jurassic Coast’ which are packed full of these fascinating structures.


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