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Achanarras fish beds can be found in the layers that were laid down in Lake Orcadie during the Devonian period - 380 million years ago. This was a considerable period before the dinosaurs. Caithness has a great many sites where fish fossils can be found but Achanarras has the most variety of different types.
Dipterus valenciennesi a lung fish is the most common fossil at Achanarras
The land that became Scotland lay 20 degrees
south of the equator 380 million years ago. and appears to have had a warm
and dry climate.
The climate changed between wetter and dryer periods from 10's to 100's of thousands of years. In wet periods the lake of Orcadie was deep and fish killed by natural events sank and were covered by layers of mud. then in dry times the mud left on the surface was left high and dried out in the sun with layers of sand and sediment becoming eventually 2km thick. The layers were compressed into rock and the many fish were trapped in the layers formed.
Million Years Ago
|Present Day The Ice Age||Quaternary||0 - 2|
|Tertiary||2 - 65|
|Extinction of Dinosaurs||Cretacious||65 - 135|
|First Birds First Mammals||Jurassic||135 - 205|
|First Dinosaurs||Triassic||205 - 250|
|Permian||250 - 290|
First Reptiles First Amphibians
|Carboniferous||290 - 355|
|The Achanarras Site||DEVONIAN||355 - 417|
|Silurian||417 - 435|
|First Plants||Ordovician||435 - 510|
|First Fish||Cambrian||570 - 700|
|Pre-Cambrian Eras||700 - 4600|
|Oldest Rocks In Britain||2800|
|Beginning Of Earth||4600|