Book review: Hutton’s Arse: 3 billion years of extraordinary geology in Scotland’s Northern Highlands (2nd edition), by Malcolm Rider and Peter Harrison

If you can see past the somewhat robust title (a reference to James Hutton’s discomfort riding around Scotland on horseback during his geological investigations), this is an interesting read, combining both geological science and humour in just about the right measures.

Discovering the world of fossil fungi

Violeta de Anca Prado and Stephen McLoughlin (Sweden) When people think of fossils, they usually picture slabs of rock bristling with bones, or the shells of ammonites or trilobites. Most do not even consider that delicate organisms, such as fungi or bacteria, can even fossilize – they seem too fragile… … Read More

Book review: English Wealden fossils, edited by David J Batten

The long awaited Palass guide to Wealden fossil flora and fauna has finally arrived and what a magnificent tome it is. At 769 pages and 35 chapters, it is by far the most ambitious and complete of their guides, covering various vertebrate groups, together with invertebrates, plants and stratigraphical descriptions of what can be found on the coast and in the quarries of southern England and the Isle of Wight.

Fossils of the Gault Clay

Dr Neale Monks (UK) The Gault Clay is an Albian (Lower Cretaceous) deposit of blue-grey clay exposed primarily in Southeast England. At the classic exposure at Copt Point, Folkestone, the Gault Clay is sandwiched between the Lower Greensand underneath and the Upper Greensand on top. It is a stiff clay… … Read More

Colonising skeletal substrates: Encrusters and borers from the Upper Jurassic oyster shell beds of Central Poland

Michał Zatoń, Adrian Szewczuk and Mirosława Kuziomko-Szewczuk (Poland) Skeletons of live and dead marine animals very often serve as a secondary hard substrate for various organisms that either encrust it (encrusters) or bore into it (borers). The terminology for encrusters and borers varies. However, following Paul Taylor and Mark Wilson’s… … Read More

Book review: Fossil Arachnids: Monograph Series Vol 2, by Jason A Dunlop and David Penney

This is the second of a two-part series of monographs on spiders (and arachnids more generally) involving Dr David Penney – the other is reviewed next to this. This one is written with Jason Dunlop, who has described numerous new fossil species in a variety of arachnid groups, from scorpions to harvestmen, to mites and even some extinct groups.

Book review: Fossil Spiders: The evolutionary history of a mega-diverse order – Monograph Series Vol 1, by David Penney and Paul A Selden

This is the first of a two-part series of monographs on spiders (and arachnids more generally) involving Dr David Penney and published by Siri Scientific Press. This one is written with Dr Paul Selden, who has more than 30 years of researching, and teaching about, fossil arachnids.

Wealden Insects: An artist’s impression (Part 2)

Biddy Jarzembowski, Neil Watson and Ed Jarzembowski (UK) This collection of illustrations, the second in the series, continues with seven more watercolour insects from the Wealden. Other articles in this series comprise: Wealden insects: An artist’s impression (Part 1)Wealden insects: An artist’s impression (Part 2)Wealden insects: An artist’s impression (Part… … Read More

Introduction to belemnites

Jack Wilkin (UK) Belemnites are an extinct group of cephalopods that first appeared during the Triassic and became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. Their closest living relatives are squid and cuttlefish. Belemnites, unlike modern squids, have a hard bullet-shaped calcified internal skeleton consisting of three parts: a… … Read More