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The Heath Robinson world of the Triassic (lecture)

Thursday, 14 February 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:
Lecture Theatre, Gregory Building
c/o School of Geographical & Earth Sciences
Glasgow, Glasgow City G12 8QQ United Kingdom

Dr Nick Fraser, National Museum of Scotland

Joint lecture with the Glasgow Natural History Society

The Triassic (~250-200 Mya) is a critical period in earth’s history. It saw the origin of many of the major groups of modern animals, for example mammals, crocodiles, turtles and true flies and is sometimes referred to as the Birth of the Modern World. It was also the time when the first dinosaurs walked the planet. But it was much more than this – the Triassic World was a strange mix of “conventional-looking” reptiles alongside truly bizarre Heath-Robinson contraptions. In this presentation Nick will explore the depths of the Triassic Tethys Sea, extending from the modern-day Alps and southern China, to the ancient rift basins of Pangaea, now exposed in the vicinity of Dulles airport and the Mid-Atlantic States.

Background reading: Fraser, N.C. and H.-D. Sues. 2011. The Beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs: a brief overview of terrestrial biotic changes during the Triassic. Earth and Environmental Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 101, 189-200.

Nick Fraser is head of the Department of Natural Sciences and specialises in vertebrate palaeontology. Dr Fraser studied zoology as an undergraduate and geology as a postgraduate at the University of Aberdeen. He worked for 18 years at the Virginia Museum of Natural History before moving back to Scotland and National Museums Scotland in 2007. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech and Honorary Fellow in Geosciences, Edinburgh University. Dr Fraser’s research is interdisciplinary and centres on the Triassic period (250 -201 million years ago). Collaborating with a number of colleagues worldwide, he has published extensively on Triassic faunas and floras.