Lecture: Dinosaur Foorprints in the Purbeck Beds - and where they have led

Speaker: Paul Ensom, Head of Curation (Dept of Palaeontology), The Natural History Museum, London

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

The Purbeck Limestone Group of the type area in Dorset lies at the Jurassic - Cretaceous boundary, and is composed of a varied series of clays, shales and limestones representing terrestrial to marginal marine environments. These sediments have long been known for their rich flora and fauna, especially the vertebrates which have received considerable attention since the 1850s. More recently the tetrapod fauna has been described as one of the richest mid-Mesozoic assemblages known. Fieldwork on these strata since 1981 has yielded an increasing variety of vertebrate trace fossils. In 1986 a footprint site produced the tracks of quadrupedal dinosaurs. Subsequent sieving of the lake clays in which these animals walked led to the discovery of a wide range of microvertebrate remains. The knowledge gained on this site has been applied elsewhere and the research continues. The talk will briefly describe some of the discoveries of the last 22 years.

The discovery of a dinosaur trackway site in the Purbeck Limestone Group of Dorset in 1981 has led on to a remarkable series of discoveries over the last 22 years. This talk will provide an introduction to these fascinating strata and their remarkable fossil contents.’

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