Natural Science

Palaeontology

The tooth of the Welsh dinosaur Dracoraptor hanigani
The tooth of the Welsh dinosaur Dracoraptor hanigani
Ordovician trilobites <em>Ogygiocarella</em> from Builth Wells
Ordovician trilobites Ogygiocarella from Builth Wells
An Ordovician bryozoan from North Wales
An Ordovician bryozoan from North Wales
Beautifully preserved Jurassic ammonite from Dorset showing delicate spines
Beautifully preserved Jurassic ammonite from Dorset showing delicate spines
Carboniferous fossil plant from the Brymbo collection
Carboniferous fossil plant from the Brymbo collection

Fossils record how life on Earth has evolved, how it responds to changes in climate and sea level, and how it has altered the environment. Amgueddfa Cymru has spectacular displays of dinosaurs, marine reptiles, ammonites, coal swamp plants and trilobites, and behind the scenes we hold one of the largest fossil collections in the UK, recording the history of past life.

Collections

The particular areas in which the Palaeontology collection is strong include:

  • Global Palaeozoic brachiopods, trilobites
  • British Mesozoic ammonites and bivalves
  • British Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous plants
  • The type, figured and cited collection

We also have a number of significant individual collections:

  • The Sheldon collection of trilobites, Pearson & Ezard collection of foraminifera, and the Trueman collection of bivalves – which all provide evidence of evolution, showing gradual changes in form over millions of years.
  • The Jurassic ammonite collections of J.F. Jackson, collected from the Dorset coast in the 1960s, and Martin Foster.
  • The David Davies collection of fossil plants assembled from working coal mines and comprising over 16,000 specimens.
  • The Derek Ager collection of British Mesozoic Brachiopods.
  • We also look after the Moore collection of Jurassic Marine reptiles on behalf of its owner the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution.

Research

  • Systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, biostratigraphy and ecology of Palaeozoic faunas in particular bryozoans, trilobites and brachiopods.
  • Faunas and stratigraphy of South Wales
  • The geochemical analysis of carbonate fossils and its application to outstanding questions on how Earth’s climate system operated in deep time.
  • Palaeobotany - revealing patterns of mass extinctions and climate change in deep time.

Palaeontology

Dr Caroline Buttler

Head of Palaeontology
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Dr Trevor Bailey

Senior Curator: Palaeontology (Palaeoclimates)
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Cindy Howells

Curator: Palaeontology
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Dr Lucy McCobb

Senior Curator: Palaeontology (Arthropods)
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