Scottish Localities 2

(select the highlighted words to see images of specimens).

Bearsden is a residential suburb of Glasgow which has a stream called the Manse Burn that runs through it. On the banks of this stream a young lad found some fossils and showed them to Mr S. P. Wood (then working with the Hunterian Museum). Stan Wood, in 1982, also found some exposures of the shales that contained these fossils in an area called Baljaffray. An excavation was organised and many spectacularly preserved fossils were recovered.

The fossils include shrimps (Tealliocaris, Palaemysis, Crangopsis, Tyrannophontes, Minicaris and the enigmatic copepod, Cyclus), fishes (photograph of a juvenile fish taken with UV light), sharks (the 'Bearsden Shark' is a well known fossil and is frequently illustrated in popular books (photographed in toluene), myodocopids, and bivalves. This is the material I did my PhD thesis on, so the locality is of particular significance to me. The preservation was so good, that even muscle-blocks and blood vessels were preserved in some crustaceans.

Dr Mike Coates did his PhD on the fossil fishes from this locality.

A number of other localities were discovered during the progress of my work, but a significant discovery was made after I had finished. Malcolm McRobb was looking for his dog one day and stumbled into a building site where shales were being dug to allow for the foundations of a house. He found some fossils in these shales that were identical to the material at Bearsden (some two miles away). A television program which has been repeated three times was dedicated to his discovery. The Hunterian Museum was able to add more fresh material to its collections before the house was built.

The rocks are Namurian in age. Several publications have resulted from these studies, in Nature (1982), the Scottish Journal of Geology from 1990-1995, and Palaeontology (1994 I think).....I'll put the details here when I have more time.

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