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Caithness Fossil Group
13 February 03
A new section has been set up for the Caithness Fossil Group whose members have an interest in the fossils and geology of Caithness. The group can be found in the Palaeontology section which itself is located in the History section.
Fossil Thieves In Scotland To Be Watched 27 may 2002
370 Million Year Old Fossil in
Achanarras Quarry , Spittal, Caithness
Mr Jack Saxon is the honorary warden at the quarry where he found the fossil. Mr Saxon said that it was the first time a chasmataspid has been found in Upper Old Redstone. The new creature resembles the Lower Devonian chasmataspids from Germany and the Midland Valley of Scotland. But its Middle Devonian age makes it the youngest yet known and significantly extends the known range of the group. This find was so unexpected. The chasmataspids were more common 390 million years ago but 20 million years later they were thought to be extinct.
The fossil has been named Achanarraspis reedi after the man who discovered it – John Reed of Rousay Orkney. He kept the fossil but later sold it as part of a collection and it ended up in the south of England. It has now been brought back to Scotland and is now in the University of Aberdeen.
The new fossil is closely related to the eurypterids. These creatures resemble large aquatic scorpions and were probably top predators in the Devonian period, some 370 million years ago according to Mr Saxon.
Fossil eurypterids have been known in Caithness for about two centuries
but have been mostly fragmentary.
There are a number of fossils on display in the Hall at Spittal which is open to visitors in the summertime.
The Jurassic Coast
Dorset and East Devon's World Heritage Coastline.