An exhibition of fossils collected by George Rae and bequeathed to the Hunterian Museum
11th September - 20th December 2003
Introducing George Rae
George Rae was a collector driven by the excitement of uncovering prehistory and finding objects of great beauty in Nature. The study of these ancient and extinct marine creatures became a passion. Through his interest and research he became an Honorary Research Associate of the University of Glasgow in June 1998. He bequeathed his vast, and important, collection to the Hunterian Museum where it continues to be studied by scientists and students alike.
One special fossil locality near Girvan attracted George’s attention. Many different species of trilobite have been found here. Trilobites, extinct invertebrate sea-creatures that look a bit like a woodlouse (slater), survived for over 300 million years. Shrimps, crabs and fish now occupy the niches they once ruled. Over 15,000 species have already been described, with more being described every year. These hard-shelled arthropods are the prized specimens of many fossil collections. George died before he could complete his research into this ancient fauna. His detailed notes, unfinished manuscripts, and the fossils provide future generations of collectors, and scientists, insights into the lives of these spectacular fossils.