Bass Rock of the Firth of Forth

Mark Wilkinson (UK). From much of the coast along the Firth of Forth in southeast Scotland, and from coastal hills such as Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, the impressive piece of rock called the Bass Rock forms a prominent landmark. This steep island is the neck of a Lower Carboniferous volcano, rising … Read More

Fossils from the Polish Bathonian clays

Dr Michał Zatoń (Poland). The Middle Jurassic Bathonian stage, which is preceded by Aalenian and Bajocian and overlaid by the Callovian, was established on the basis of oolitic limestones outcropping at Bath in Somerset. This historical and English connection is a major reason I have chosen the Bathonian as a … Read More

Collecting fluorescent minerals

Clay Carkin (USA). Compared to the collection of fossils and traditional mineral specimens, the hobby of collecting fluorescent minerals is in its infancy. Even though Sir George Stokes discovered the property of fluorescence in the early 1800s (from the blue glow of fluorite in sunlight), it was not until the … Read More

Predator and prey

Dan Quinsey (UK). Some fossils show evidence of the violent relationships between predator and prey. Below is a brief discussion of a few of such fossils – fossils that seem to preserve the moment when a carnivore has killed its victim or scavenged a dead body for food. Predator: MosasaurPrey: … Read More

Essential collectibles #6: Green River fishes

Dr Neale Monks (UK). So far our essential collectibles have been invertebrate fossils, remains of animals without backbones such as ammonites and trilobites. Vertebrate fossils are much rarer, and consequently more expensive, the pocket money-priced ones tending to be things like sharks’ teeth or small fragments of reptile bone. Certainly, … Read More

Scottish ‘Stones of Destiny’

Rosalind Jones (France). Time and tide wait for no man and truth is often stranger than fiction. Both these sayings apply to Scotland, especially Argyll with its islands at ‘the edge of the world’. Here, historic stones – some truly associated with destiny, others more dubiously linked by legend – … Read More

Geology of Grandfather Mountain

Landis Wofford (USA). Like all mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee are the result of the action of plate tectonics. The crust of our planet is composed of five primary plates, or huge pieces of rock that move very slowly over deeper layers of … Read More

Mineral collecting in Slovakia

Trevor Devon (UK). Slovakia is situated at the north-western end of the Carpathian Mountains, a region well-known for its metal ore mines and quarries. One of the Sussex Mineralogical Society’s members had been a schoolteacher in Slovakia and had explored many of its mineral locations. Through his contacts there, an … Read More