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Southern Scotland has a complicated early geological history that fossils from the region have helped to unravel.
Graptolites, floating colonies of tiny animals, from the Ordovician-Silurian of Dobs Linn, found at Hawick Museum, Stranraer Museum and Tweeddale Museum in Peebles, are evidence of a wide ocean which closed with the big, mountain-building collision that joined Scotland with England.
Carboniferous rocks deposited in shallow, tropical seas and swampy lagoons have revealed large teeth of the predatory fish Rhizodus and Megalichthys among a range of invertebrate and plant fossils discovered through the coal mining industry. Examples can be found at Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.
Several fossils in the Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum were transported southward by glaciers. Shifting sand dunes in the Permian preserved reptile trackways, signs of life just before a major extinction, which can be found at Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura. The Gem Rock Museum in Creetown showcases fossils from well-known and historically important localities across Scotland and far beyond.