Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Schoolboy finds 300 million year old fossil

Date:
April 7, 2013
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
A schoolboy has discovered what appears to be an extremely rare fossil of footprints from more than 300 million years ago.

An Oxford schoolboy has discovered what appears to be an extremely rare fossil of footprints from more than 300 million years ago.

Related Articles


Ten-year-old Bruno Debattista, who attends Windmill Primary School in Oxford, brought a piece of shale rock containing what he thought might be a fossilised imprint to the after-school club at Oxford University's Museum of Natural History.

Oxford University Natural History Museum experts were astonished to find that it appeared to contain the trackways left by a horseshoe crab crawling up the muddy slopes of an ancient shore around 320 million years ago.

Chris Jarvis, education officer at the Museum and organiser of the Natural History After-School Club, said: 'Footprints of this age are incredibly rare and extremely hard to spot, so we were amazed when Bruno produced them at our After-School Club.

'Still more impressive is the fact that Bruno had a hunch they might be some kind of footprints, even though the specimen had some of our world expert geologists arguing about it over their microscopes!''

Bruno's fossil has been confirmed by the Museum as likely showing footprints of a pair of mating horseshoe crabs laid down during the Carboniferous period, some 308-327 million years ago. At this time, the sea was slowly being sealed off as Earth's landmasses crunched together to form Pangaea. Bruno and his family have decided to donate the fossil specimen to the Museum's collection.

The Natural History After-School Club is run by the Museum's education department and encourages Year 6 children to develop their interest in the natural world, in the hope that some might become the next generation of geologists and zoologists.

The club's weekly sessions look at rocks, fossils, insects and other animal life, and members are encouraged to make observations and collect specimens to be shared each week.

Bruno was specially selected for the Club by his teachers, after showing a particular interest in nature. He collected the fossil while on holiday in Cornwall last summer.

'Unfortunately, the excitement and motivation that many children instinctively feel for studying nature is often lost during their teenage years as it is seen as "uncool" or a bit "weird," and science can become text-book oriented and exam-driven during secondary school,' Chris Jarvis said.

'The club is our attempt to encourage children to value and extend their skills and knowledge and to follow their interests. I hope it is helping to create a group of kids that will continue to share their interests into their teenage years and beyond.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Schoolboy finds 300 million year old fossil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407145835.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2013, April 7). Schoolboy finds 300 million year old fossil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407145835.htm
University of Oxford. "Schoolboy finds 300 million year old fossil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407145835.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fossil Treasures at Risk in Morocco Desert Town

Fossil Treasures at Risk in Morocco Desert Town

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) Hundreds of archeological jewels in and around the town of 30,000 people prompt geologists and archeologists to call the Erfoud area "the largest open air fossil museum in the world". Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) A 45,000-year-old thighbone is showing when humans and neanderthals may have first interbred and revealing details about our origins. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins