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RE: pre-metazoan rocks in UK?



> From: Anthony Docimo [mailto:keenir@hotmail.com] 
> Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 2:19 AM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: pre-metazoan rocks in UK?
> 
> 
> 
> I know that Australia has rock formations from before the 
> appearance of metazoans....does any part of the UK have 
> equally-young rocks within easy reach of the surface? (or 
> already exposed?)
> 
You better believe it!! (And I think you mean "old", not "young"...)

First of, all over the world there are rocks are pre-metazoan age (esp. if
Metazoa originated in the 1000-600 Ma range). They are typically exposed as
mountain ranges push up more ancient material. The UK has substantial
exposures of Proterozoic rocks (2500-542 Ma); less so for Archean Era (>2500
Ma).  The UK is no Canada, South Africa, or Australia in this regards, but
there are a fair amount of Precambrian rocks..

But if you are referring to Ediacaran fossils, the Charnwood locality was
actually one of the first major sites in which they were found, and the one
that demonstrated they were in fact Precambrian (Newfoundland fossils had
been found earlier, but the regional stratigraphy wasn't as clear as
England's was).  See:

http://www.charnia.org.uk/saturday_school_2007.htm

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Fax: 301-405-0796

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA