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Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (Axe Valley Branch)

Wed. 20 January 2021 at 2:30 pm


To be held by Zoom video conferencing

A talk “The Dorset and East Devon World Heritage Site: a palaeontological viewpoint” by Professor Malcolm Hart (University of Plymouth).

The contribution of palaeontology to the ‘outstanding universal value’ of the Dorset and East Devon World Heritage Site is quite clear, even to non-palaeontologists. Fossils have been collected from the Site for the last 200+ years and Dorset (and Devon) fossils are present in museums around the world.

Microfossils are found almost everywhere, from marine to non-marine and even hypersaline environments, but it is the ‘large’ vertebrate fossils that often grab the attention of both the scientists and visitors alike. Some parts of the coastline are more vulnerable to collecting pressure than other areas and we have yet to strike a sustainable balance between the desire to collect and the need to pursue scientific research. Sadly, the number of ‘experts’ is dwindling and this is a major challenge for the future: who can identify the fossils and understand their taphonomy (preservation) and their application to palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.

Photo: The famous ammonite pavement of the Lower Jurassic, west of Lyme Regis on the Devon/Dorset boundary.

Important notes

If you would like to join this meeting, please contact the Organiser (details below). You will in due course be sent instructions on how to log in etc. Please don’t worry if you are not familiar with the Zoom software. It is quite straightforward to use and does not involve any expense. You will be able to log in a few minutes before the start of the lecture.


Wed. 20 January 2021
2:30 pm
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Axe Valley Branch (Brian Denham)


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