October 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 18)
Strong Points: Interesting
Weak Points: Not very molecular
What, you may be asking, is the Rhynie Chert? As explained by this informative University of Aberdeen site, Rhynie is a sedimentary rock formed from the accumulation of silicaceous animal remains. These include radiolaria, diatoms, and sponges. The Rhynie Chert gives a geological perspective of a time about 400 million years ago. Its importance to scientists is that it is the best preserved collection of plants from this time period and it contains “the most diverse associated fossil arthropod fauna of terrestrial and freshwater origin from rocks of comparable age anywhere in the world.” At the site, one will discover summaries of the research going on at the site (Rhyne is a location in Scotland), as well as obtain a perspective of life as it was a long time ago.