Conservation Research

Current research that involves the Museum conservator and conservation lab

The conservation laboratory is involved with a research group studying Early Carboniferous Tetrapods from the Scottish Borders. These animals are characterised by having four limbs and represent some of the earliest fully terrestrial vertebrates. The laboratory is preparing some of these recently discovered unique fossils. Analysis of the mineral composition of the rock that some of the fossils are preserved in has been carried out in the Department of Earth Sciences, using X-Ray Diffraction. Here you can see a plot showing the mineral composition of one of the specimens. We are interested in this because it will tell us if there any minerals in the rock that could begin to alter and change if the fossil is kept in an unstable environment.

Graph                                                                                       Photo of tetropod skull

You can read more about the project here:

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

10:00 to 16:00 


Just over 60 years ago, in June 1952, the remains of a giant marine reptile known as a pliosaur were uncovered by a dragline excavator at Stretham, near Cambridge. At an estimated length of between 10 and 20 metres, the extinct predator was described in the local press as one of the biggest and most complete pliosaurs known.

Stripping the Land Bare - Framing and Glazing of William Smith's 1815 Geological Map of England and Wales