Sand

 Dawn Walker (UK). As long as I can remember, I have collected interesting bits of rock, looking at their shapes and colours, and wondering what they were. This was fine as long as I had a garden shed of my own to keep them all in. I read some geology … Read More

Khajuraho stone temples of India

Khursheed Dinshaw (India). Khajuraho, in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India, was the cultural capital of the Chandela rulers of the tenth century and, even today, is a place that pays homage to artistic talent. There was no mechanisation involved in the labour intensive process, where artists hand sculpted … Read More

Twilight of the mammoths

Zachary Sepulveda (USA). Perched upon a grassy hill ancient hunters prepare to make a kill… Blaring trumpets shatter the airTerrified voices echo despairHurtling towards their own demiseA chance at life, their fate denies. The blood of giants spills upon the grassBrought forth by razor-edged volcanic glassMarching closer to defeat with … Read More

Trilobites: A short introduction

Dr Robert Sturm (Austria). Many people interested in palaeontology and collecting fossils have either found fragments of trilobites in the field or marvelled at fossil examples of these animals displayed in museums around the world. Although they are essential components of palaeontological collections, thereby acting as index fossils for the … Read More

Florissant fossil spider discovery

Zachary J Sepulveda (USA) and Steven Wade Veatch (USA). The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is known worldwide for its late Eocene (34mya) fossil plants and insects. Recently, a fossil spider was discovered at the commercial quarry, which is near the fossil beds (Fig. 1). Due to the condition of … Read More

Weird world of fossil worm cocoons

Stephen McLoughlin, Benjamin Bomfleur and Thomas Mörs (Sweden). Fossil hunters occasionally chance upon small glossy red to amber-coloured, roughly circular objects on bedding planes, when they crack open shales that were deposited in ancient swamps and rivers. These curious fossils range from about a millimetre in diameter up to the … Read More

Interpreting ammonite fossils

Neale Monks (UK). Ammonites are such popular and well-known fossils that suggesting they need interpreting may seem ridiculous. But for all their familiarity, there is still a good deal of debate over how they lived and what they did. If nothing else, ammonite experts all agree that they were ecologically … Read More

Geology of East Greenland

James Cresswell (UK). Eighty percent of Greenland is covered by ice and, in places, this is up to 3.4km thick. So, Greenland might not immediately spring to mind as a place to go to observe rocks. However, it is a huge country and the ice-free area, at 410,000km2, is nearly … Read More

Mary Anning

Oscar Roch (Age 10). This amazing article about the life of Mary Anning, was written by Oscar Roch who is just TEN years old, for a school project. It is his own work, with just books and guides to help obtain facts. After receiving the handwritten project in the post, we … Read More

Inclusions in precious and semi-precious gemstones

Dr Robert Sturm (Austria). Gemstones are commonly regarded as natural wonders, and their infatuating beauty and rareness has fascinated us from time immemorial. Besides the obvious macroscopic appearance, many a gemstone is characterised by a ‘hidden’ microscopic inner life of breathtaking aesthetics. Among non-experts, such inclusions in precious and semi-precious … Read More