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An overview of fossils from this region, and beyond, is provided by The Hunterian (University of Glasgow). Displays show specimens documenting an Ordovician-Silurian deep-sea fauna of stunning starfish, crinoids (sea lilies), trilobites and brachiopods from Girvan, preserved as muddy sediments tumbled down steep underwater slopes, the world’s smallest dinosaur footprint and the moment that vertebrates crawled out of the water onto land during the Carboniferous.
Clawed eurypterids (sea scorpions) and strange-looking jawless fish from historic excavations at Lesmahagow are found in the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock and at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre.
More unusual are the Palaeocene plant fossils from the Ardtun Leaf Bed of Mull, a layer deposited among lava and ash as the Atlantic Ocean opened explosively. These can be seen at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Paisley Museum and the McLean Museum and Art Gallery in Greenock.
Molluscs and brittle stars in Pleistocene Arctic clays, found at Paisley Museum and Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, are evidence of a warming climate over the last 15,000 years following glaciation.