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1127 Views 10 Replies Last post: Nov 21, 2014 10:27 AM by MikeHardman RSS
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Jul 4, 2014 8:28 AM

Romer's gap fossil

As you will be able to tell from my past posts, i'm a complete novice fossil hunter. However, I am working really hard on learning as much as I can about ancient plant and animal life, so forgive me if this is off the wall. Anyway, while doing some research I came across the museum of Scotland’s exhibition, titled "Evolutions missing Chapter"

http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/past_exhibitions/evolutions_missing_chapter.aspx

One of the pictures on this site is apparently a fossilised shark spine, found in the Tweeddale valley (Scottish Borders). Anyway, picture 1,2,3, below, is what we found in Central Scotland, last week. Could this also be a shark spine from the Romer's gap and could you tell me a bit about what the Romer's gap is (in lay man's). Pictures 4,5,6,7 look like skin maybe fish . These were all found within 2-3 miles radius of each other. They are all on mud stone and were so fragile they now have pva glue on them. This had to be done to keep them from turning to dust. They were all found on the same strata (in mudstone).

 

DSC_0043.JPGDSC_0044.JPGDSC_0045.JPGDSC_0060.JPGDSC_0056.JPG

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        Jul 4, 2014 4:35 PM (in response to kate)
        Re: Romer's gap fossil

        Kate,

         

        I think all the first lof photos are plant fossils.

        But I don't know for sure about the first one.

         

        The next lot are all brachiopods, as far as I can tell; it is a little tricky to 'see' some of them.

        ...Ending with what I think are more likely to be roots, though I get the impression they are flattened objects rather than linear, so maybe not. That is, it is difficult to ID from just photos.

         

        Romer's Gap:

        Once upon a time nobody had found any fossils. Years later, lots had been found, but dating was not well understood. Many decades later, a detailed stratigraphy had been developed for all the rocks aroung the world, determining not only their sequence but their actual age in years. Once a lot of fossil collecting had been done, and they had been attributed to (numerically-aged) strata, the distribution of fossils through time became apparent. That was, and is, an ongoing process. Inevitably some parts of the time-scale had more fossils than others (in terms of number of species and number of individuals) - that just statistics. So inevitably there were some time-spans where no fossils had been found, anywhere. As fossils continue to be found, some of those gaps get closed. In reality, you could say that our concept of such a gap changes over time. That is, as the old (big) gaps get filled, the remaining (smaller) gaps become the norm, until they, too get filled; and so on. Romer's Gap is just one of those gaps, distinguished by being a relatively large one, though fossils have now been found in it - so it is no longer strictly a gap. But it is still a time-span where fossils are rare.

         

        Sorry to take a while to get to your question.

         

        Mike

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            Jul 15, 2014 11:49 AM (in response to kate)
            Re: Romer's gap fossil

            Kate,

             

            The first fossil:

            email natureplus@nhm.ac.uk; ask to get a palaeontologist to give you an opinion.

             

            I can't say what fossils might be expected in Romer's Gap, but I would expect them to differ from place to place.

            I suggest you include that in your email above.

            ...Basically point them at this thread.

             

            Sorry not to be able to answer your questions adequately,

            Mike

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      Nov 20, 2014 10:54 PM (in response to kate)
      Re: Romer's gap fossil

      Kate,

       

      There are certainly some geometrical similarities. Well done.

       

      I think you'd need to send/take the specimen to the Angela Marmont Centre at the NHM to have it inspected up-close and personal.

       

      Mike

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          Nov 21, 2014 10:27 AM (in response to kate)
          Re: Romer's gap fossil

          Kate,

           

          I suggest you phone first. That way, you may be able to work out a date when somebody relevant is likely to be around.

           

          Although, as I stated, there are some gemoetrical similarities with an Ichthyostegan spine/tail, its location on one side of a cylindroid keeps making me think of a burrow (can't be) or stem (not convinced on that either).

           

          So please do let us know how you get on, as I am really curious about that specimen.

           

          Mike

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