Lasting Impressions

See how the marks of waves made on a beach 200 million years ago have been preserved. Examine rocks that have grown from the outside in. Find out how to calculate a whale’s age from its teeth.

Lasting Impressions gallery

The past is imprinted in various forms on all the objects on show in Lasting Impressions. Each exhibit contains evidence of a long-ago event, captured for visitors to see at close quarters.

Bezoar goat horns.

Close examination of its horns can tell you the age of the Bezoar goat. The animals grow a new section of horn every year, which is marked by distinct ridges. This goat was about 8 years old.

Ripple marks and a footprint are preserved in this slab.

The holes on this slab, which was found in Cheshire and dates from the Triassic period, are thought to be the footprints of an early dinosaur. The ripple marks were made by waves on a sandy beach 200 million years ago.

Two preserved molar teeth from a stegodont.

You can see two preserved molar teeth in this fossilised palate of a stegodont – an extinct relative of the elephant. The low crowns of the teeth suggest these animals lived on soft vegetation. This fossil is about 9 million years old.

Petrified wood.

This fossil tree trunk was once part of a fertile forest in what is now Arizona desert. The original wood has become petrified, replaced by the mineral agate, but the age rings have been preserved. The tree dates back to the Triassic period 200 - 251 million years ago.