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Masterclass discovers a moth in a million!

Masterclass discovers a moth in a million!
'Wildlife Man' Jules Howard with one of the specimens he brought to Masterclasses.
Thursday 7th February 2013 by C. Freeman

Students studying geology samples in a science Masterclass discovered a moth that had got trapped in a piece of amber a million years ago! The primary age students were taking part in a session led by ‘Wildlife Man’ Jules Howard, when the moth was discovered, something that Jules had never seen before in his career as a writer, conservationist and wildlife expert.

During the Masterclass session Jules, the students, and teacher Mr Hawksley sorted through rock samples finding the fossilised remains of aquatic creatures that lived in this area 100million years then identified them using a dichotomous key.

The also found insects, such as beetles, a caterpillar and assorted body parts trapped in amber, which is fossilised tree resin. These were viewed under a microscope and then the images were projected onto a screen for identification.

Students also discussed how scientists use evidence from fossils and amber to piece together what the environment was like and also talked about why dinosaurs became extinct, and what evidence there is to support each for each theory about it.

There was also time for a discussion about what dinosaurs looked like and why some species survived while others perished. Student Adam Lever said ‘It was interesting finding about the different fossils and how they become fossilised. It was also cool to think about why dinosaurs died out and mammals didn’t.’

Elliot Bray added: ‘I thought it was fun and was good that we could have our own ideas as to how the dinosaurs died out. It was really good to interact with the samples.’

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