* Another pleasant Winters Talk by Richard Forrest *

By March 9, 2016Field Trip Reports, News

Hi Stamford and District Geological Society

I just wanted to take a minute today to let you all know what a fantastic job you are doing for the society. Honestly I was a little worried about what I had gotten myself into!

Since then however you all have been absolutely fantastic about turning things around. I think everyone is really excited about the new changes that we have all implemented around here. Anyway I just wanted to let you all know that I really appreciate your hard work and dedication and that we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for all of you.

….Thank you Stuart for your report back on the Plesiosaur talk kindly given to us by Richard Forrest as follows below :

A talk by Richard Forrest: Plesiosaurs

“Richard gave the somewhat numerically reduced Society members a most interesting and very informative talk on Plesiosaurs.
After stating they were found throughout the world in marine sediments and in the UK mainly in the Oxford and Kimmeridge Clays of the late Jurassic, he divided his talk into the following sections. Firstly the skeleton with particular reference to ribs from both ‘back’ and ‘front’ and varying numbers of neck vertebrae. He said their feeding habit could be determined from their teeth, which were replaced as the animal grew from the side and not beneath as is more normal. To assist grinding prey such as Molluscs and Cephalopods they swallowed stones (gastroliths). On reproduction Richard said fossils had been found with embryonic bones in the carcass indicating single live birth ‘pups’. This, he said, would indicate possible nurturing. Their method of locomotion was twin sets of flippers which gave good acceleration when necessary but precluded any venturing on to the shore. Their sensory perception was well advanced with good binocular vision and a snout well-endowed with water passages lined with fine blood vessels and rich in nerve endings. This allowed them to ‘sense’ the water and also pick up vibrations.

The talk continued with some history of Plesiosaur fossil finds and the philosophical problems they caused by being extinct. God only made perfect organisms etc.

Altogether a rich, rewarding and enjoyable talk.“

Thanks and keep up the great work!

Sincerely Yours,

Darren.

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