An Introduction To Fossils

The materials used/mentioned in my Hidden Horizons online palaeontology course, An Introduction To Fossils, can be found below.

The specimens in the GeoEdDiversity of Life‘ set are as follows:

Fossil nameFossil typeHigher groupAgeWhere from?
Acervularia luxurans CoralCnidariansSilurianUK
Albertosaurus sp.Dinosaur toothReptilesLate CretaceousCanada
Calymene blumenbachiiTrilobiteArthropodsSilurianDudley, UK
CheirotheriumReptile footprintTrace fossilsTriassicGermany/UK
DiplomystusFishRay-finned fishEoceneWyoming, USA
Echioceras quenstedtiAmmoniteMolluscsEarly JurassicDorset, UK
Gissocrinus typusCrinoid (sea lily)EchinodermsSilurianUK
Hefriga serrataShrimpArthropodsLate JurassicGermany
Ichthyosaurus sp.Ichthyosaur toothMarine reptilesEarly JurassicUK
Neuropteris scheuchzeriPlantPteridospermsCarboniferousIllinois, USA
Otodus obliquusShark toothCartilaginous fishEoceneKent, UK
Phymosoma koenigiEchinoid (sea urchin)EchinodermsCretaceousKent, UK
Basic classification of fossil specimens in GeoEd ‘Diversity of Life’ set.

Slides for class 3 (PowerPoint)

Slides for class 3 (pdf)

Did sharks evolve from a bony fish? (Guardian article, based on this scientific paper by Martin Brazeau and colleagues)

Fossil fish of Caithness – if you’re ever in north-east Scotland, go fishing!

Fossil Focus: Ichthyosaurs

Why are birds the only surviving dinosaurs? (NHM article)

Steno‘s 1667 diagram interpreting glossopetrae as fossil shark teeth.

Slides for class 2 (PowerPoint)

Slides for class 2 (pdf)

I talked about ammonite shells having distinctive sutures. Here is a nice example from the Middle Jurassic of Ravenscar, North Yorkshire:

If the tremendous trilobites caught your fancy, meanwhile, you can sign up for our “Trilobites: An Introduction” online class (December 2020) here!

GeoEd Trilobite Collection (13 handmade replica trilobite fossils)

Slides from class 1 (PowerPoint)

Slides from class 1 (pdf)

Geological timescale (from the International Commission on Stratigraphy)

Diversity of life (biology introduction)

Animal evolution (paper by Telford and colleague, 2015)

If you’re out and about hunting fossils in the UK, the Natural History Museum’s Fossil Explorer app is very useful. The NHM also have plenty of fantastic fossil information more generally, too.

For all the latest information on activities online or in the Fossil Shop, please keep an eye on the Hidden Horizons website!

And to find other fossily teaching resources here on fossilhub, please click on the fossils hashtag.