Missing Fossil Collecting

Everything Dinosaur team members had lots of plans for fossil collecting expeditions over the late spring and summer months.  Like lots of people at the moment we have had to postpone these activities (COVID-19).  Instead, team members are busy planning some projects and fieldwork for the late autumn and for 2021.

A Lot of Plans for Fieldwork are Having to be Redrawn

Media day at Devil's Coulee (Alberta).

An audience for an excavation.  Field work for many palaeontologists has had to be curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Picture Credit: Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur and Heritage Museum

A point often overlooked when discussing fossil collecting as a hobby, is that if fossils were not found and collected, many important specimens would be lost to the elements.  Fossils eroding out of the cliffs along the Dorset coast for example, they could easily be lost to the sea as there are very few visitors permitted to the “Jurassic Coast” at the moment.

With Many Countries in Lockdown Fossil Finding Expeditions for Many People are not Possible at the Moment

Heading east from Lyme Regis to Burton Bradstock.

The view towards West Bay and Burton Bradstock.  Much of the “Jurassic Coast” is devoid of visitors at the moment (COVID-19).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Museums Closed Too

Important research work has also had to be postponed or suspended.  Researchers wanting to access museum specimens will probably have to wait until these institutions and other academic bodies such as universities can function properly with a full complement of staff.

Access to Museum Collections is Restricted for the Time Being

Dean Lomax and Judy Massare examining Ichthyosaur specimens.

Dean Lomax and Judy Massare examining Ichthyosaur specimens in the marine reptile gallery at the Natural History Museum (London) as part of their research into the Ichthyosauria.

Picture Credit: Dean Lomax

Everything Dinosaur team members have lots to keep them occupied.  Ironically, a few weeks before the lockdown came into effect, we were at the London Natural History Museum undertaking some project work ourselves.  We visited various parts of the museum including the marine reptiles gallery, although if you know that part of the museum quite well, it is not only the marine reptile specimens that are on display, we were there for the ichthyosaurs, the Metriorhynchidae (marine crocodyliforms) as well as one other very important fossil specimen that is located there but we won’t mention this…

The Marine Reptiles Gallery at the London Natural History Museum

Marine reptiles gallery at the London Natural History Museum.

The famous marine reptiles gallery at the London Natural History Museum.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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