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Tetrapod World: early evolution and diversification

Discovering how tetrapods splashed out!

Foreshore at Burnmouth

© Rob Clack

The TW:eed Project was an NERC-funded scientific research programme studying fossils and environments from the Early Carboniferous Tournaisian Stage, roughly 350 million years ago. Teams of experts from the Universities of Cambridge, Leicester and Southampton, the British Geological Survey and National Museums of Scotland collaborated to study some spectacular recently-discovered fossils which filled a significant gap (Romer's Gap) in our understanding of how tetrapods moved from water onto land, the other animals and plants that existed at that time, and the environment in which these changes took place.

The project consisted of teams working on the palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, palynology and performing stable isotope analysis, so that we could discover not only how tetrapods became terrestrial, but also what the environment, plants and other animals were like and how they changed in parallel with the tetrapods.

We also worked with experts in a number of other universities and institutions, both in the UK and abroad. Please see the Project Partners and Canadian Partners pages.

Our project blog is at www.tetrapodworld.com , but is no longer maintained. The Project Facebook page is also rather static these days.

What's New?
  • The team recently published a couple of papers the scientific journal Palaeontology. Jenny Clack was lead author of four in a paper about Devonian lungfishes found in east Greenland. You can access a layman's summary via the Publication Summaries section.
  • The second paper has Jenny's ex-masters student, Ben Otoo, as lead author. This is a long, quite technical paper about the wide range of fossils found in a metre-square sample of sediments collected from a particular spot of the foreshore at Burnmouth, Scotland. The layman's summry is accessible via the Publication Summaries section.
  • There's a new paper just out in Early View describing the environment in northern England and southern Scotland during the Tournaisian. Lacking the technical knowledge to write a layman's summary myself, I've uploaded a copy of the abstract to the Publication Summaries section, and Dave Millward (BGS and lead author) will do the summary in the New Year.