We have been a little behind in publishing the Scarborough Strata columns that Will writes for the Scarborough Review Newspaper, so here is a little bumper crop of the last three articles!
Scarborough Strata #10
But how do you know that? This is one of the commonest questions I get asked about fossils, especially the world famous dinosaur footprints that we find on the Yorkshire Coast. Recently this question came up again, but this time when I was reading a new scientific paper about dinosaur footprints that show various features that the authors claim were caused by injuries, deformations or illness in the dinosaur making the footprint. A healthy dose of scepticism is useful in the scientific world so this time I was the one asking, how do you know that?
Any footprint formed by any animal is a very dynamic process, if you add into the equation the consistency of the ground the animal is walking on it can lead to a very wide variation in footprint shapes left by one animal. Many of the Yorkshire Coast dinosaur footprints are difficult to see, and show very strange features such as toes not preserved and bent toes, all of these can be explained both by a normal healthy dinosaur moving across wet sand and mud, or could be explained by a dinosaur with deformed feet.
Currently I am still to be convinced that I have seen an injured dinosaurs footprint on our coastline, but I will certainly be looking even more carefully in the future! If you would like to join us to see the dinosaur footprints then why not book us for a private walk, or join one of the public walks starting again early in the new year.
Scarborough Strata #9
As Autumn starts to take hold the number of says that can be enjoyed on our coastline may be slightly reduced (although as somebody once said, ‘there is no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing’), so I thought I would short piece giving you some ideas for some indoor geological experiences.
We are blessed in the north to have a number of fantastic museums with some great fossils and geology on display. Here in Scarborough we of course have the Rotunda Museum, originally opening in 1829, it is one of a number of museums of a similar vintage, all of them formed by literary and philosophical societies as part of the explosion in the interest in natural sciences and geology in the 19th Century.
Other museums that were formed then and are still worth a visit include Whitby Museum and the Yorkshire Museum in York. Slightly further afield Leeds, Manchester and The Great North Museum (formerly The Hancock) in Newcastle. So if the weather is a bit grim this winter, either wrap up warm and head out, or hop on the train and do some indoor geology!
Our public events have now finished for 2015, but we do still offer private tours, and school trips.
Scarborough Strata #8
In September we were delighted to be take part in the Yorkshire Fossil Festival at the Rotunda Museum. Last year was the inaugural Festival and we were very busy running around helping to run the event, this year we are concentrated on our own displays and activities. More of what we did at the Festival can be found on this post. We hope it comes back in 2016 and to be taking part again!