Lecture: Jurassic calamari: life, death and preservation of fossil squid in the Jurassic rocks of the Wessex Basin

Speaker: Professor Malcolm Hart, School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:00 -

Location

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


Lecture Description

The squid-like cephalopods (Coleoidea) are an important part of the Jurassic ecosystem. Examples of them were illustrated by Henry De La Beche in his famous diorama ‘Duria Antiquior’ (a more ancient Dorset) which depicted most of the known fossils of the Lias of Lyme Regis. Discoveries of specimens with exceptional preservation from many parts of the Jurassic in the Wessex Basin, have allowed the reconstruction of both their morphology and mode of life. Fossils from the Callovian clays of Christian Malford (Wiltshire) and the Charmouth Mudstone Formation of Lyme Regis (Dorset) show how these active predators captured their prey and attempted to eat quite large specimens of fish. In one exceptional specimen, the fish may have been too big and the squid choked to death!



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