Fossil Over 420 Million Years Old
An amateur fossil hunter from Kemnay,in Aberdeenshire, bus driver Michael Newman, had an amazing discovery.
He found a fossil of a millipede, which is estimated by experts to be around 420 million years old, and it is reckoned that if it had not been for the earth movement on the Highland Fault Line, he would not have found what is the oldest exposure on the globe for a terrestial ecosystem.
The Highland fault-line passes from along the Skatie Shore in Stonehaven in the east, to Helensburgh in the west, dividing Scotland into the Highlands and the Lowlands.
Mr Newman said that when he found the fossil it was fairly well preserved especially its legs.
A scientific paper published in January 2004 describes how this tiny creature was found to have spiracles (air breathing holes), evidence that life had crawled out of the primordial swamp to live and breathe air on dry land and this is thought to be the oldest evidence ever discovered of life on earth.
Mr Newman now has the honour of having his name included in the title of this ancient creepy crawly, now known as Pneumodesmusnewmani.
Well according to Dr Lyall Anderson, curator of invertebrate paleontology at National Museum of
Cowie harbour,has plenty of potential left. Newman is convinced there could be early eurypterids, or scorpion-related creatures, which may be found to possess breathing systems.
A display of this can be seen in the Tolbooth Museum