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Largest ever millipede fossil uncovered – Dr William McMahon part of team

21 December 2021 Fellows

Dr William McMahon, a Research Fellow of Clare Hall, has co-authored a paper published by the Journal of the Geological Society, analysing the largest-ever millipede fossil, which was found on a Northumberland beach in 2018. 

The 326-million-year-old giant millipede’s remains were found at Howick Beach. Known as Arthropleura, this species was over 2.5 metres long, making it likely to have been the largest arthropod to have existed on Earth. 

The fossil will be displayed at the University of Cambridge’s Sedgwick Museum next year.

Read the paper at

Dr William McMahon is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences. He holds an MSci degree in Geology from Imperial College London and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Previously he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and at the University of Hull. His areas of research and teaching combine the fields of geology and palaeontology.