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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Underwhelming Fossil Fish of The Month: October

Mark Carnall29 October 2013

12 MONTH UNDERWHELMING FOSSIL FISH OF THE MONTH BLOWOUT! We made it! Back in November last year we launched this series with the lofty ambition of increasing the global fossil fishteracy one fossil fish at a time. Shirley, it’s no coincidence that since this series started fossil fish have been making the news headlines for all the wrong reasons in the case of Megalodongate, as nobody is calling it, and for all the right reasons with Entelognathus primordialis maybe, possibly, unlocking the origins of jaws (not Jaws) as we know and love them today.  We’re confident in claiming that this series alone propelled fossil fish stories into the limelight, leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home. There’s no other explanation.

There’s no cause for complacency though. This post marks the twelfth entry in the series, a calendar’s worth, but there’s a while to go until we reach enough for a Top Trumps deck or come anywhere close to unearthing the full mediocrity of the drawers and drawers worth of Underwhelming Fossil Fish we have here at the Grant Museum. So it’s with no aplomb we soldier on with October’s particularly uninspiring fossil fish.


Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month: June

Mark Carnall19 June 2013

According to the age old adage, all fossil fish are born equal. This isn’t true. Some fossil fish are born, then die, then get fossilised to wow and impress. Suffice to say that not all fossil fish can be superstars, opening shopping centres, turning on Christmas lights and the like. Some fossil fish are born, then die, then get fossilised, to underwhelm. To de-inspire. To turn people away. If had a dime for every bank manager, accountant, dentist and cashier I’ve met who turned down a lucrative career in palaeontology because of an underwhelming fossil fish, then after the Bureau de Change took a cut I’d be out of pocket, I can tell you.

It’s June already meaning that including this one we’re only four more of these away from having enough monthly underwhelming fossil fish to produce a very uninspiring calendar. This month, in order to spice up the normally dry description of a particularly uninteresting fossil fish, see if you can guess what this month’s fossil is from the underside of the box. CLUE: it isn’t Sarcoprion edax.

Oh god, what's in the box? ( CLUE 2: Not Gwyneth's head)

Oh god, what’s in the box? ( CLUE 2: Not Gwyneth’s head)