The bedrock exposed at the site is part of the Lower Limestone Group, a subdivision within the Carboniferous Period, and include beds of marine shale in which fossils of fish and sharks are found.Learn more
The excavated site is on the Manse Burn which is a narrow water course running between two housing estates in Bearsden, South Baljaffray to the east and Bonnaughton to the west.Learn more
A small community group which adopted the name The Bearsden Shark Group was formed in response to a presentation made by Alan McBride, of Mugdock Country Park Ranger Service, to the Baljaffray Residents’ Association AGM in 2006 and the Group has worked over the intervening period with support from the Association's various office bearers since that time.Learn more
We are very pleased that you have decided to visit our new website to find out more about The Bearsden Shark. Our shark is a small but very important part of the fascinating story of fossils and Palaeontology. Each page provides a short summary of information that we hope you will find interesting and will encourage you to carry out some further research yourself. Thank you for visiting.
Some 330 million years ago I lived in the warm brackish waters of a lagoon in a land mass near to the equator. This lagoon provided me with lots of food ranging from small shrimps, fish and other sharks.
I was a good specimen about one metre long and, like all the males of my species, I was distinguished by the anvil shaped fin attached to my dorsal spine. When I died I fell to the bottom of the lagoon and must have sunk into the soft thick mud. Over thousands of years, silts were deposited on top helping to preserve me so well that even parts of my last meal became fossilised.
From the tropical heat of the equator to the moderate and sometimes very cold Scotland what an interesting story to tell, but one too long to tell here. To encourage you to investigate further here is a brief summary:
Since my young days all those millions of years ago, land masses have moved around the world and what was my lagoon eventually became part of the land we now know as Scotland. As it moved north it passed through different climatic zones from rainforest to desert and finally shaped by as many as seven glaciations. The weight of sediment that was deposited on top turned mud, silt and sand into rocks that were crushed, sliced through and smoothed by the ice. During periods of ice melt, sea levels rose reshaping the outline of the land.
Because I had fallen into the mud quickly I was buried where there was little or no oxygen and that meant that, like the pharaohs of Egypt, my body was preserved. Until, that is, Stan Wood found me beside the Manse Burn in Bearsden during the summer of 1982.
I hope you will visit my fossil in the museum of The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow Gilmorehill Campus and find out more about my journey. Also my discovery has been the subject of scientific papers and articles and if you are interested to read these you will find details just a click away on another page.