Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hoorah for the small and wriggly!

When the tide runs out: life in ancient rockpools

a finger-crinoid rests on our Ancient Landscape

We've just had a lovely day at Castleton Visitor Centre in the Hope Valley in Derbyshire. After snow a couple of weeks ago closed the centre, and the roads, and dramatic Winnatt's Pass, and froze our first "ancient rockpools" day out, today really counted as the start of public workshops for our Ancient Landscapes project
a sample rockpool was used to get people started
86 people joined us during the day to look at fossils and models of ancient
dangerous fish!
animals, and to stroke, prod, squeeze and generally explore our Ancient Landscape installation. Then most people made for themselves either a fossil fingerpuppet or an ancient rockpool from these far-off Carboniferous days (or both). Given what we were finding in our imagined rockpools, it's probably just as well we humans weren't around then!

We did make some practical discoveries, however, including "the easy way to draw a trilobite" - details will follow in another blog. And we met Toby with his lovely fossil blog - why not take a look? Fossilfriends

hoorah for the small and wriggly!
This project's activities always raises that question of " exact should we be" very nicely: just how much do we push "this is what it looked like"? On the whole, we share ideas, samples and models with people and let them our orthocone nautiloids end up looking suspiciously like belemnites, and the few trilobites that were still around in Carboniferous days were almost certainly not a spectacular as our ones. And Hoorah for the soft wriggly and unexpected things that have never, ever been fossilised! But it si good to embrace a world without dinosaurs and to find people are quite happy working with small wriggly, squirmy, swimmy creatures and to ponder the shapes of ancient seaweeds....

But mostly, we made things....

Next event is Saturday 6th April -Miller's Dale

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