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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Underwhelming fossil fish of the month: February 2014

By Mark Carnall, on 28 February 2014

It’s often said that seasons come and seasons go but fossil fish are forever*. However, sadly this isn’t as robust as it is commonly believed. Fossil fish, like Hollywood stars and small children need attention and that’s what this entire series is about, turning the spotlight on the nearly-made-its, the also-rans and the generally undistinctive. The mediocre, normal shaped and average sized. The fossil fish consigned to museum drawers and storerooms, their ‘heyday’ 100-odd years ago, consisting of a dry description in an obscure journal by a palaeontologist. Shed no tears for them for they are but rock. They shall go on to the end. You can find them in France, you can find them under the seas and oceans. You can find them on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets,  in the hills; they shall never surrender. Here is yet another, especially underwhelming fossil fish of the month.

Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month: July

By Mark Carnall, on 30 July 2013

It’s very trendy  to point out that with the combination of Google, Wikipedia and smart phones, we now have more information at our fingertips than any of the great thinkers, including Charles Darwin, ever had access to. Although this may be technically true, a lot of that information we can access is videos of cats, this tome on Luke Skywalker’s wife and several terabytes of saucy Harry Potter fan fiction (we don’t dare link to). In fact it’s probably a good job that Darwin didn’t have such distractions in the palm of his hand as we may have never ended up with On the Origin of Species because he filled his days watching videos of Japanese men synchronised walking.

However, for the fossil fish that feature in this series, Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month, it’s safe to say that Darwin had access to almost as much information about these uninspiring, unimportant and all around underwhelming fossils as we have today and July’s fossil fish is no exception.