Monday, 19 August 2013

Avon Wildlife Safari Day 32 - Be a fossil detective

Day 19 of the Avon Wildlife Safari promoted the Big Dig in Weston Super Mare which is running up until 23 August. If you have been to the museum and enjoyed looking for fossils then you might want to explore the local coastline to see what else you can find.
The study of fossils is called palaeontology and it is an important way to learn about prehistoric life. Fossils are the preserved remains of animals or plants that have gone through several processes that have protected them for up to millions of years. We can use these remains to understand more about what the life was like all those years ago.
Weston-Super-Mare is a fascinating geological location, underwater Volcanoes during the Carboniferous period buried all life forms and preserved them in the rocks now exposed on the foreshore and cliff. Well preserved corals, bryozoans, Algae, Bivalves and Brachiopods can be found in Weston Super Mare and Portishead. The Somerset coast is a good place to go fossil hunting with the added advantage of being not as popular or commercialised as the Dorset coast. For more information about the fossils around this coastline take a look at the ukfossils website.
There are some really nice fossil packs for young people to help them interpret what they find and The Wildlife Trust's put on various fossil hunting activities along the coastline so keep an eye on The Wildlife Trust's event page.

seal n phillips 3Of course it's not just fossils that you can find on the beach, there's also lots of life there too. Check out our guide to the best places to go rockpooling in Britain and see how many you've been to. Somerset Wildlife Trust have lots of information on their Living Seas page about marine wildlife, you can even take part in your own beach survey and help them gather information to protect marine wildlife for the future.

On the 21 August Somerset Wildlife Trust are holding a family beach ramble at Watchet. For more information click here.
Strawberry Anemone at Porlock Weir by Nigel Phillips
Strawberry anenome

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