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The Geology of Britain in the Mesozoic, the Era of Middle Life

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A regional look at the history of Britain 250-65 million years ago, how the rocks formed and the evolution of middle life.

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Join Martin Eales, Consultant Geologist & Geophysicist and member of Sutton U3A, for an online talk followed by a Q&A and discussion session.

A regional look at the history of Britain 250-65 million years ago, how the rocks formed and the evolution of middle life, the age of the dinosaurs.

A sequel to the previous talk on the Palaeozoic era. Geologists divide the time interval when complex life existed on the earth into three eras: the Palaeozoic (Greek for ancient life), Mesozoic (middle life) and the Cenozoic (new life). At the end of the Palaeozoic there was the great extinction event when around 95% of species perished. This heralded the age of the dinosaurs or the Mesozoic era which ended when a meteorite struck near Mexico to wipe out the non-avian dinosaurs.

Most of the rocks of eastern and southern Britain are of Mesozoic age. In this talk, we will walk through the rocks of Britain starting at the latitude of the Sahara Desert within the super continent of Pangea where the rocks were formed in a hot desert. Slowly Britain drifted northwards; rocks were formed in warm shallow seas and forests as the climate and landmasses changed. It was also a period of chalk deposition in warm seas and the initial formation of the Atlantic Ocean. Dinosaurs, mammals, and birds evolved with flowering plants on the land.

Martin Eales was educated at Emmanuel College Cambridge then researched for a doctorate and lectured at Glasgow University. He has been a petroleum geologist for 40 years including working for the largest oil companies in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy, and also lived in North Africa and the Middle East. In that time, he has studied the geology of most countries in the world and now works part time advising companies and banks on the value of their oil assets. He is married with 3 children and 1 dog.

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