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Mining & Quarrying

Coal

Palaeosmilia fossil

Period:
Coal Age
Description:

Fossil coral, Palaeosmilia.  Corals are simple animals which are frequently preserved as fossils.

 

Fossils are remains of plants or animals which are preserved in rocks.  These ones are from the carboniferous or Coal Age, 300 million years ago when Upper Nithsdale was below a shallow coral sea, which then drained away leaving the area a marshy coastal jungle.

 

Productive coal measures are the major source of fossils such as these.  They indicate estuary conditions, with the sea slowly receding, and fresh water marshes developing.

 

As this area has long been the scene of mining activity its geological past can be deciphered in great detail.  The first geological survey of the Sanquhar Basin was in 1867, and since then it has been famous for its exposures of fossil layers.

Materials/Media:
sedimentary rock
Dimensions:
height 45mm, width 43mm
Source:
Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum
Accession number:
SQRTM:0206.10
Digital Number:
SQNH004n
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council