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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.

We started work in 2012 and had funds for four years' work. Having not spent quite all the money, we were grateful that NERC awarded us no-cost extensions, which allowed us to continue working for a while.

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Our project blog is at and was maintained by Dr Carys Bennett at the University of Leicester, but is no longer maintained.

The Project Facebook page is also rather static these days.

What's New?
  • The funding for this project has now run out, but the work continues. I will update this site when new results are published. For now, I've distributed a newsletter, No. 14, which you can download from the Downloads page.