A fossilised carboniferous fern
© Juan Carlos Munoz/Minden Picture
Palaeontology meets art. Palaeontology meets art
Though it looks like a fresco from Ancient Greece, these are the fossilised remains of a fern found in Córdoba, Spain. The fossil dates back to the Carboniferous period, roughly 350 million years ago. This is a compression fossil - where a small amount of the original plant material was retained with the mineral deposits that help form the impression.
From ammonites and trilobites to ancient sponges and dinosaur footprints, fossils can also be found all over the UK, with popular sites including Charmouth on the aptly named Jurassic Coast, Abereiddy in Pembrokeshire, Helmsdale in Sutherland and the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. So whether it’s a day trip to the beach, a visit to your local natural history museum, or just browsing through fossil photos on the web, there’s a way for everyone to discover more about our prehistoric past.