Research Projects

Tetrapod World - Science research blog

The Sedgwick Museum's Conservator is providing technical advice & help with field work on a new project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. The project is a consortium research project led by the University of Cambridge (Prof. Jennifer Clack) with members from National Museum of Scotland, British Geological Survey, University of Southampton & University of Leicester.

The team members will study newly discovered Tetrapods (vertebrates with four limbs), other vertebrates, invertebrates such as millipedes and scorpions and plant fossils from the Scottish Borders. They will also study the sedimentology & geochemistry of the rocks to help understand the climate & environment of the period when the animals & plants lived.

The fossils fill a gap in the fossil record following a mass extinction at the end of the Devonian. This gap is called Romer's Gap after a famous palaeontologist, Alfred Romer, who noticed that many fossils were absent from the Early Carboniferous, the period immediately after the Devonian mass extinction. The gap covers a period of about 15-20 million years.

Tetrapods during the Devonian were fish like and lived in water. After Romer's Gap Tetrapods become land based. What happened during this crucial period of vertebrate evolution has been based on very few fossils until the new specimens were discovered.

The fossils from the Scottish Borders have been found in rocks that fill this 15-20 million year gap and will help in understanding the evolution of the first fully terrestrial ecosystems.
Tetrapod World, a science research blog about the TWeed research project 'Tetrapod World: early evolution and diversity'

Virtual Microscope for Earth Sciences

The Sedgwick Museum has been working in conjunction with the Open University on a project using many different sections of our collections.  This new virtual microscope website is now live and contains many Sedgwick Museum samples http://www.virtualmicroscope.org



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10:00 to 13:00 & 14:00 to 17:00

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Sunday
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Sep 5, 2014

One of the most iconic of Cambrian age fossils from the famous Burgess Shale is a little (3.5 cm long) creature called Hallucigenia, which has been the subject of considerable controversy for several decades. Now, researchers, Martin Smith and Javier Ortega-Hernandez from the Department of Earth Sciences have reinvestigated this strange creature and its relationship to other animals.


Jul 30, 2014

A new project is underway at Cambridge’s oldest museum, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. Funding from Arts Council England’s ‘Designation Development Fund’ is enabling the Museum to make some of its most historically important specimens available to visitors for the first time as high-quality, interactive digital 3D objects.