N E W S F E E D S >>>


Achanarras Index Quarries History A - Z Caithness

Achanarras fish beds can be found in the layers that were laid down in Lake Orcadie during the Devonian period - 380 million years ago.  This was a considerable period before the dinosaurs.  Caithness has a great many sites where fish fossils can be found but Achanarras has the most variety of different types.

Dipterus valenciennesi a lung fish is the most common fossil at Achanarras
The tiny Palaespondylus was a completely new discovery at Achanarras.
14 types of fish have been found at Achanarrras.


The land that became Scotland lay 20 degrees south of the equator 380 million years ago. and appears to have had a warm and dry climate.
The climate changed between wetter and dryer periods from 10's to 100's of thousands of years.  In wet periods the lake of Orcadie was deep and fish killed by natural events sank and were covered by layers of mud.  then in dry times the mud left on the surface was left high and dried out in the sun with layers of sand and sediment becoming eventually 2km thick.  The layers were compressed into rock and the many fish were trapped in the layers formed.


Geological Period

Million Years Ago

Present Day The Ice Age Quaternary 0 - 2
  Tertiary 2 - 65
Extinction of Dinosaurs Cretacious 65 - 135
First Birds First Mammals Jurassic 135 - 205
First Dinosaurs Triassic 205 - 250
  Permian 250 - 290

First Reptiles First Amphibians

Carboniferous 290 - 355
The Achanarras Site DEVONIAN 355 - 417
  Silurian 417 - 435
First Plants Ordovician 435 - 510
First Fish Cambrian 570 - 700
  Pre-Cambrian Eras 700 - 4600
Oldest Rocks In Britain   2800
First Bacteria   3400
Beginning Of Earth   4600