A local puzzle?

Why are sea creatures found in the middle of Dudley and not 100 miles away on the coast?

Dicoelosia biloba brachiopod

Brachiopod fossil, Dicoelosia biloba

Today we tend to think of shells and corals something you would find along the coasts where there are beaches, reefs and the sea. But if you took a stroll through the Wrens Nest today you find the remains of corals and shells. So why are they so far from the sea and in the middle of Dudley?

The fossils found at the Wrens Nest are the fossilised remains of creatures which were once living within a thriving shallow tropical sea during the Silurian Period 425 million years ago.

Since then different geological processes have caused the land to be uplifted, faulted and folded. These processes include several mountain building events (an orogeny). These include the Caledonian Orogeny which caused the Welsh and English landscape to change approximately 600 Ma (million years ago) and the Caledonian Orogeny which occurred when Scotland and England collided approximately 400 Ma, this led into the Variscan Orogeny which continued through to the Carboniferous Period. The Caledonian Orogeny occurred when Baltica and Laurentia collided, closing the Iapetus Ocean.

The land was eventually uplifted and through various smaller stages of faulting and folding the Wrens Nest was formed as a fossilised reef which stands high above Dudley.

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