Fossil Found at Dean Castle Country Park

A lady who regularly walks in Dean Castle Country Park's grounds dropped in to the Dick Institute yesterday to show us a fossil she had picked up on her walk.

Jason Sutcliffe the museum's (Team Leader of Collection Care) who has a special interest in palaeontology, was happy to discuss the find made by Kirsteen McDonald.

It turns out the find was a 320 million year old piece of carboniferous coral.

Jason showed Kirsteen the dedication panel on the landing of the Dick Institute and pointed out similar examples of coral fossils which are encased in the fossiliferous rock.

During the carboniferous period, Scotland lay at the equator and the Midland Valley (now the central belt) area was covered in rainforest and was surrounded by tropical seas full of fauna and thriving coral reefs. Rocks formed from the sediments and corals of the near-shore shallow-marine environments of the Carboniferous occur in Ayrshire as well as the Lothians, Borders, Fife and along the northern coast of the Solway Firth.

Kirsteen (pictured above with Jason comparing her find with the panel) has been lucky enough to find a piece of coral similar to the type pictured opposite.