The North West Highlands Geopark is pleased to welcome Dr Alex Brasier (University of Aberdeen) for a talk on fossils of complex life in rocks formed in Scotland’s most ancient lochs one billion years ago.
Northwest Scotland hosts some very old rocks which tell remarkable stories. Amongst them are some of the oldest rocks on Earth, the Lewisian gneisses, formed between about 3 billion (thousand million) years ago and two billion years ago. A little more recently, just one billion years ago, the world-renowned sediments of the Torridonian Supergroup were deposited in rivers and lakes. Clues and evidence used to deduce the ancient environments recorded in these rocks will be presented and discussed. These Torridonian sediments, of the Stoer, Sleat and Torridon Groups, are particularly important because they contain microscopic fossils that are thought to include some of Earth’s oldest terrestrial (non-marine) complex life. The microfossils are preserved in three-dimensions, providing remarkable insights into early life beyond the sea around 1 billion years ago.