Harrow and Hillingdon Geological Society

The Worms that Turned

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The Worms that Turned: Reconstructing the Animals of the Herefordshire Lagerstätte

Dr. Mark Sutton explained to us the procedure being used for examining three dimensional fossils of soft bodied organisms. It is impossible to extract them from the surrounding rock because they are calcareous fossils in calcareous concretions. The only difference between the fossil and the matrix is colour. Fossils are ground away 0.2mm at a time and the resulting flat surface digitally photographed. The photos are put into a computer, tidied up, and the result is a series of beautiful, virtual, three dimensional images of the organisms. They can even be colour coded and dissected to give a huge amount of information about their anatomy.