Thursday, August 03, 2006
The Trilobite Dingle
I had a very busy weekend in Mid-Wales, returning to Bristol last Sunday evening. I had managed to visit several friends and relatives and also spent some time on my own re-visiting old haunts. I have been visiting Montgomeryshire, the family home of my late grandfather regularly for as long as I can remember and have special affection for the rivers and "hump-backed little hills... lying like sleeping lizards in the sunlight." [Pauline Phillips]
On Sunday morning waiting between breakfast and a suitable time to visit my aunt, I visited a famous geological locality, the Trilobite Dingle in Bronybuckley Woods just outside the town of Welshpool. Here, scrambling down to the bed of a little stream one can still find ancient Ordovician shales containing Trilobites over 450 million years old. The rock disintegrates easily and broken shale lies around the stram bed making it relatively easy to spot the Trilobites. Whole specimens [as with most fossils] are rare but I collected a few specimens of heads and head shields and have taken photographs of them as you see above. I am fascinated by this early life, something that has no living relatives, that was common in the early oceans, leaving us too few clues as to their ways of life. The species here is Salterolithus caractaci.