Bodies of Evidence

Using fossils to examine the origins of animals

I am organizing the Palaeontological Association-sponsored session at the 2013 British Science Festival in Newcastle.

It is called Bodies of Evidence, will run at the Great North Museum on Sunday September 9th, and it is going to be dead great. Literally, as the event will be packed to the rafters with amazing fossils of long-gone creatures.

How do we figure out the origins of animals? What do fossils tell us about the way in which animals evolved different features, such as shells and teeth? And how can we reconstruct what ancient, extinct animals really looked like? Come along to Bodies Of Evidence and we’ll show you!

To whet your appetite, here’s a little taster of the bodies that will be on offer…

Starting with the Cambrian explosion, my palaeontological colleagues fromĀ Durham University will take you to Greenland, and the amazing Sirius Passet fossils:

(It's a halkieriid)
What in flippin’ crikey is that?

Professor Mark Purnell and his team from the University of Leicester will offer upĀ some Rotten fish and fossils. If you’re feeling brave, they’ll even let you take a sniff and find out what their experiments smell like!

Progressive stages of decay in the lancelet.

Dr Martin Ruecklin (Leiden University/University of Bristol) will show off his amazing Jaws! Using Synchrotron x-rays he will delve into the origins of our lovely smiles…

Dunkleosteus terelli, an ancient fish much scarier than Jaws.

And as a special bonus, the brilliant model-maker Esben Horn of 10 Tons, Copenhagen, will be bringing along some Heavy Metal and Punk Fossils!

Palaeontology: the new rock and roll!

So come along and inspect our #BodiesOfEvidence on September 8th. You won’t see the fossil world the same way afterwards!


Earth scientist in York, fossilist across Yorkshire. Co-director of the Yorkshire Fossil Festival and palaeontologist for hire. Can be found twittering, facebooking, and instagramming as @fossiliam.


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