UCL Division of Biosciences


Prof Susan Evans' lab publishes overview of research in fossil vertebrates

9 December 2020

Diverse vertebrate assemblage of the Kilmaluag Formation (Bathonian, Middle Jurassic) of Skye, Scotland. Earth and Environmental Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Susan Evans

The lab had a publication of their overview of several decades of research (still ongoing) in fossil vertebrates from the beautiful Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Abstract: The Kilmaluag Formation on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, provides one of the richest Mesozoic vertebrate fossil assemblages in the UK, and is among the richest globally for Middle Jurassic tetrapods. Since its discovery in 1971, this assemblage has predominantly yielded small-bodied tetrapods, including salamanders, choristoderes, lepidosaurs, turtles, crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, dinosaurs, non-mammalian cynodonts and mammals, alongside abundant fish and invertebrates. It is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and by Nature Conservancy Order. Unlike contemporaneous localities from England, this assemblage yields associated partial skeletons, providing unprecedented new data. We present a comprehensive updated overview of the Kilmaluag Formation, including its geology and the fossil collections made to date, with evidence of several species occurrences presented here for the first time. We place the vertebrate faunal assemblage in an international context through comparisons with relevant contemporaneous localities from the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the US. This wealth of material reveals the Kilmaluag Formation as a vertebrate fossil assemblage of global significance, both in terms of understanding Middle Jurassic faunal composition and the completeness of specimens, with implications for the early evolutionary histories of mammals, squamates and amphibians.

To learn more about the work of Prof Evans' lab please visit the website