Bryozoologists on the rocks in South Wales

Cardiff, Wales — There is a tradition at bryozoology meetings that we get out into the field as a group. Caroline Buttler (our organizer) and Lesley Cherns (Cardiff University) took us during the afternoon to two sites. The first (shown above) is the excellent Carboniferous-Triassic-Jurassic section at Ogmore-by-Sea. Tim Palmer took me here on an epic field trip three years ago, and my blog post from then has some of the important geological details. Basically, we have an extensive exposure of the Carboniferous Limestone (High Tor Limestone, Dinantian in age), topped by an unconformity with Triassic wadi deposits in some places and a Jurassic limestone (Sutton Stone, Hettangian). The group above is scampering about on an exposure of the Carboniferous Limestone.

Here the bryozoologists are examining the unconformity between the Carboniferous Limestone (which they’re standing on) and the Jurassic Sutton Stone above.

Andrej Ernst (University of Hamburg) managed to find tiny bryozoans in the Carboniferous Limestone.

Hans Arne Nakrem (University of Oslo; Natural History Museum) and me looking studious with the Carboniferous Limestone.

The Carboniferous Limestone has fantastic sections through large rugose corals.

The trace fossil Zoophycos (“rooster tails”) is also common in the Carboniferous Limestone.

Our second stop was at an Upper Triassic section at The Bendricks along the coast. Here we see desert and flash flood deposits with … wait for it …

… dinosaur footprints! One rather battered example of a print from a three-toed theropod dinosaur is shown above. (Grallator is the ichnogenus.) These were among the earliest dinosaurs, so seeing such a trackway is very cool. You can read here a detailed assessment of the tracks.

Thank you again to Caroline Buttler and Lesley Cherns for arranging this fun trip.

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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