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Darren

* Dr Jeff Liston : Patron : for the Stamford and District Geological Society *

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The Stamford and District Geological Society are truly honoured to have Jeff Liston as patron.

Jeff has had a long and successful career working with the National Museums of Scotland and the University of Bristol, but he pinpoints his eighteen years spent at the Hunterian Museum, during which time he worked as Curator of the Alfred Leeds collection of 650 fossil vertebrates, as when he first encountered the Oxford Clay fossils from around the Peterborough area. This led to his association with John Hudson’s Oxford Clay Working Group, through which he first met Alan Dawn, and guided his choice of PhD to the Middle Jurassic suspension-feeding fish Leedsichthys.

Speaking about why he has agreed to put his name behind our society, Jeff says:
“Considering the global significance of the material found in this area, it is a truly remarkable local resource, yet so few people from the area realise the importance of the animals in the clay that they walk upon. Leicester’s Arthur Cruickshank first introduced me to Alan Dawn and the Oxford Clay collections in Peterborough Museum eighteen years ago. And even then it was clear to me that the fossil material that comes from here even puts grand and revered localities like Lyme Regis into the shade.
I am more than happy to do whatever I can to help promote the work of SDGS to promote the geological heritage of the area, in no small part as a tribute to the memory and legacy of Alan Dawn.”

You can also find many publications penned by Jeff and his colleagues on his page at Academia.edu.

jeff-j-liston-uaslp-24_03_12

* Another pleasant Winters Talk by Richard Forrest *

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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.

Arthur Smith Woodward. His Life and Influence on Modern Vertebrate Palaeontology

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Dear Members,

You may be interested in obtaining a copy of the Geological Society Special Publication SP430 – Arthur Smith Woodward. His Life and Influence on Modern Vertebrate Palaeontology. The book is now available with a 30% discount and free P&P if ordered before the end of March – see attached flyer and order form below. Please forward to anyone you think may be interested.

Arthur Smith Woodward was the Natural History Museum’s longest-serving Keeper of Geology and the world’s leading expert on fossil fish. He was also an unwitting victim of the Piltdown fraud, which overshadowed his important scientific contributions. The aim of this book is to honour Smith Woodward’s contributions to vertebrate palaeontology, discuss their relevance today and provide insights into the factors that made him such an eminent scientist. The last few years have seen a resurgence in fossil vertebrate (particularly fish) palaeontology, including new techniques for the ‘virtual’ study of fossils (synchrotron and micro CT-scanning) and new research foci, such as ‘Evo-Devo’ – combining fossils with the development of living animals. This new research is built on a strong foundation, like that provided by Smith Woodward’s work. This collection of papers, authored by some of the leading experts in their fields, covers the many facets of Smith Woodward’s life, legacy and career. It will be a benchmark for studies on one of the leading vertebrate palaeontologists of his generation.

Regards,

SDGS

* Another Pleasant Winter Talk *

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A rather pleasant evening was had by all.

A real team effort by the society for our winter talks on the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs.

Thank you to everyone who made it out into the chilli night for the talk.

It was a kind gesture from Ivor who gave our speaker Naomi Stevenson a lift to Tinwell Village hall and back home. The few all be it temporary technical issues we had with our projector didn’t hold us up for long. For one of our members leapt into action to fetch his personal projector to save the evening which was great. While the newly borrowed projector on its way back to us at speed. The members indulged in a little mind over matter pressing buttons…and hey presto it worked.

So again thank you to that person who went out of their way to save the day, I apologise for not catching your name but I’m sure Sheila will put me right.

And also in the melee of kick starting the projector I’d like to say thanks to the gentleman who told us the history of Tinwell village hall…again I’m useless with names so I do apologise.

Ok so what can I remember about the talk…well everything to be more exact. I was fixated by the journey Naomi took us on as I’m sure everyone else was.

We truly owe so much to the Victorian’s with their new found knowledge and vision as to how these prehistoric animals would have looked millions of years ago. With the herculean efforts to attract people in of the day. And now to date the very important conservation work that is being carried out at the park.

I for one shall be certainly visiting this historical site but better still I’m going to see if I can arrange a visit with the society…( Watch This Space ).

Thank you to Bill for opening up the hall and putting a couple of pounds in the meter for the heating.
Thank you to Mick for the tea, coffee and biscuits.

Thank you again Ivor for the miniature book store you always bring with you. That’s a highlight for me as I love a good read.

Thank you to Sheila for handling funds for the kitty from the evening.

Once again thank you to everyone who came along.

…..Really look forward to Richard Forrests winter talk on Plesiosaurs on Wednesday the 10th of February 2016…same place…same times.

I mean “Forget Dinosaurs: plesiosaurs are much more interesting Dean Lomax…Just kidding with you Dean…

Regards,

Darren.

* Fossil Starter Packs *

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Fossil Starter Packs

As the field trip to Kings Dyke Nature Reserve fossil area is aimed at the junior members. And as you know the Stamford and District Geological Society is affiliated with the UKGE who one of the largest Earth Science Equipment suppliers in the world.

This entitles Stamford and District Geological members to a %10 discount on any of their products. So with this in mind I’ve added a link to their webpage below for you.

Click on the UKGE text below

UKGE

* Possible New Field Trip *

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As the Stamford and District Geological Society is always planning ahead in the background to try and bring a variety of locations for next year’s field trip calendar. We now have a possible place to go that requires your attention.

Thanks to the work of the Cambridgeshire Geosites Team, Dr Simon Kelly and the local community, an excavation is now available that provides remarkable access to conglomerates and sandstones of the Early Cretaceous Lower Greensand where it rests against the Jurassic limestone’s of the Jurassic Upware Island.

If you are a member or would like to become a member of the SGDS and would like to go. Then please let me know ASAP.

* Lea Quarry field trip photos from the 3rd of October 2015 *

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Here are some photos from our Lea Quarry field trip on the 3rd of October 2015 sent in from one of our members. I really like the extra spooky FOG EFFECT…

Dalejina sp

Dalejina sp 1

Dalmanites cephalons

Dalmanites cephalons ‏ 2a

Dalmanites cephalons

Dalmanites cephalons1‏ a

Dalmanites pygidium

Dalmanites pygidium 1

Favosites gothlandicus

Favosites gothlandicus  1c

Favosites gothlandicus

Favosites gothlandicus ‏1d

Gastropod Loxonema gregaria

Gastropod  Loxonema gregaria

Stromatapora sp

Stromatapora sp 1c

Stromatapora sp

Stromatapora sp 1d

Fossiling in the Fog

fossiling in the fog

In the Abyss

in the abyss

Over looking the quarry

over looking the quarry 1

This ” pineapple ” coral is actually the coral Arachnophyllum murchisoni. It looks like the Acervularia but has differences. It lived from the start of the silurian to the Wenlock period.

Acervularia sp

Members group shot

group shot

Fossiling in the Fog

fossiling in the fog 1

Overlooking the Quarry

over looking the quarry

Regards,

SDGS

* Bantycock Opencast quarry field trip 19/09/2015 * report back *

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Hi everyone,

Continuing on with the run of fine weather we are having the SDGS members where blessed with glorious weather for their field trip to Bantycock Opencast quarry. With thirteen members attending it was a fantastic turn out.

I’d just like to thank you all for making the trip well done everyone. I’d also like to thank all those involved in getting this field trip off the ground as it’s no easy feat. And a very big thanks to Andrew Swift for leading us.

And of course to all the staff at Bantycock Opencast quarry for giving up some of their time and exposing a section of Westbury Formation for us, for that we are always very appreciative.
Look forward to next year’s trip.

Regards,

SDGS

And now pleasantries aside here are a few photos that one of our members has sent us of their finds. If you should have any other photos then please don’t hesitate to send them in.

Small caudal ichthyosaur vertebra
small caudal ichthyosaur vertebra

Probably a pliosaur rib section but it seems to have grooves on one side so it could be part of an ichthyosaur mandible. The member who found it keeps changing their mind about which it is!….so any help would be appreciated.
probably a pliosaur rib section or part of an ichthyosaur mandible

part of an ichthyosaur mandible or probably a pliosaur rib section

Plesiosaur rib
plesiosaur rib

A selection of coprolites, most with scaly inclusions.
selection of coprolites most with scaly inclusions

Copyrighted Image

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