It’s moving at a snail’s pace – but it may be evolution in action
Scientists are staking out part of Yorkshire’s coastline to monitor the apparent birth of an animal species – an exceptionally unusual chance to record evolution in action.
Research on the “fossil coast” between Flamborough Head, Filey and Ravenscar – already known for a string of geological breakthroughs – has discovered two colonies of tiny sea-snails which are almost certainly dividing to form a new species.
Guardian – 24 Jul 04
As a child given the chance to vote on which bit of the Yorkshire coast we would go to, I’d always cast for Filey or Robin Hood’s Bay because of the fossils. They were much more fun than Scarborough or Sand’s End. I had my own geologists hammer and there wasn’t a single trip that we didn’t return with a few ammonites, bellumnites and dozens of devil’s toenails.
There aren’t many things more amazing than picking up a hefty grey pebble, tapping it smartly to reveal a perfect ammonite, previously undistured for millions and millions of years. Or the excitement of wandering along the seaside, spotting the fossils among the ordinary stones & seashells. And how your eyes would attune to the unusual. Now it seems that in overlooking those ordinary shells I was missing out on the cutting edge of evolution. Who knew?