Tayside and Fife Fossils

The fossil collection includes important and rare specimens collected in Angus, Perthshire and Fife including Carboniferous plants, Lower Devonian eurypterids (sea-scorpions), fish, plants and alga, and Pleistocene mammals such as elk, beaver and aurochs. The Pleistocene specimens were discovered during peat diggings and include 18th century finds.

Of international significance are the type specimens of two fossil fish, Securiaspis waterstoni  and Securiaspis caledonica from Wolf’s Hole Quarry near Bridge of Allan. Cited and figured specimens include the shells from the marine clays at Inchcoonans Brickpit near Errol. They represent a cold water arctic assemblage. Fossils are very rare in the Errol clays and the brickpit is now infilled. A Pleistocene beaver skull has an uncertain provenance but it is likely to have been dug up in Scotland.

The Lower Devonian fossils are of particular note. They include a specimen of  Homocanthus arcatus, a fossil fish and one of only four known specimens. There is historic material collected at Balruddery Den near Dundee. Other fish and eurypterid remains come from well known sites such as Turin Hill and Farnell in Angus. Fish from Dura Den in Fife were obtained from a British Association excavation there in 1915.

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