MSc Hadrosaur Mandibular Disparity Study

My MSc thesis project focused on hadrosaur mandibular development across the Late Cretaceous, incorporating an Ornithopod outgroup. The project aimed to test the role of feeding adaptation throughout hadrosaur evolution through a multivariate study to see how the lower dentary of hadrosaurs changed throughout their evolution from 88-66 Ma. More information about the project will be added to this page in due course.

One of the lower dentary’s measured in the project from the lambeosaurine hadrosaurid Blasisaurus canudoi (MPZ 99/665). Scale bar is 5cm. Image credit: Caballero et al. (2010).

Triassic Microfauna of Hapsford Bridge, Vallis Vale, Frome

This project was completed as part of the At The Feet of the Dinosaurs internship programme. The project saw me take part in fieldwork, identifying, sorting, and describing the Rhaetian age fossils taken from limestone samples at Hapsford Bridge, Vallis Vale.

The geological site of Vallis Vale is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) displaying Mesozoic sediments which rest on Carboniferous limestone. The stratigraphy begins with the Rhaetian in the east end, stepping up to the Middle Jurassic at the west end of the Vallis. The fossils collected were supported by fossil collections from Charles Copp, helping to display the Rhaetian Transgression which enveloped over the Carboniferous limestone at Vallis Vale.

The Figure above (Figure 8) displays Actinopterygian teeth and scales identified in the study. Scale bar is 1mm for all specimens. Image credit: Ronan et al. (2020).

The project identified 1,740 specimens with 763 non-bone fragments including 76 teeth and 687 other fossils elements. The Rhaetian bone bed layers display a variety of microverterbrates including four species of Triassic shark and two species of bony fish, alongside invertebrate fauna such as bivalves, echinoids, and trace fossils.

Results of the project can be accessed here.