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Found 14 results

  1. Brachiopod ID

    Hello everyone, I found this brachiopod a while ago at Charmouth, UK. It measures 1.5cm long and is from the Charmouth mudstone formation. Can anyone identify its species? Thanks in advance,
  2. I've spent a fair amount of time now combing the beaches around Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England, and thought i would put together a topic that presents all of my marine reptile bone finds (so far) in one place. The fossils here are Early Jurassic in age, approx. 195-190 million years old and come predominantly from the Blue Lias and Charmouth Mudstone formations. I first visited this area in 2013 with the simple goal of finding at least one ichthyosaur vertebra, and now after three subsequent trips in 2014, 2017 and 2019, i've put together a far better assortment of finds than i could have possibly hoped for! I think i have been quite lucky along this coastline, although it has taken many hours to amass this collection. Across all four of my England trips i have spent a total of 18 days looking for bones in the Lyme Regis area, most often on the stretch of beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth but sometimes at Monmouth Beach as well. This coastline also produces a large quantity and diversity of ammonites, belemnites, crinoids, bivalves, brachiopods, gastropods, and even rare insects. However i've always been most interested in fossil vertebrates, and so the ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs that are found here have been my primary target for collecting. There are also some impressive articulated fish to be found, but as yet i have had no luck in finding any! Ichthyosaur bones are the most common type of vertebrate fossil in the area, particularly their bi-concave vertebrae. Less commonly you can also find pieces of the jaw, sometimes with teeth. If you are extra lucky though you may also find plesiosaur bones, which for whatever reason are much rarer than those of ichthyosaurs. The best way to find any type of marine reptile bone around Lyme Regis is to closely examine the shingle on the beach, and i've spent seemingly countless hours bent over and slowly walking along the shore looking for them. If you have a bad back it's even more difficult! I've learnt that bones can be found pretty much anywhere on the beach: in the slumping clays, at the top of the beach in the 'high and dry' shingle, along the middle of the beach, at the low tide line, and also underwater amongst the rocky pools and ledges. And just when i start to think that the beach has already been heavily searched and there isn't much left to find, there always seems to be another bone that turns up, often lying in plain sight. The truth is that most people who visit here to collect are not experts and will probably walk past a lot of these bones, as the texture is the most important thing that gives them away and learning to recognise it takes a bit of time. For the sorts of articulated skeletons that sometimes make news headlines and are beautifully intact, searching the shingle is not the way to go, but for a short term visitor like me i think it is the best way of maximising the chances of finding any sort of reptile bone in the shortest amount of time (and something i can take back with me on the plane too!). Without further ado, here are the pics (spread across multiple posts due to file size limits). I've also included as-found pictures for some of these finds to provide a sense of what they look like and how they are found when they are on the beach. The collection so far. Starting first with my favourite Lyme Regis fossil, this is a very nice plesiosaur vertebra that is in great condition! A very rare find! I have been very fortunate to find two plesiosaur vertebrae at Lyme Regis so far, although this one is smaller and more beach-worn than the previous example. Continued below.
  3. Ammonite ID (Lyme Regis)

    Hi everyone, I found this ammonite recently on the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in England and was hoping someone might be able to tell me what species or genus this is? It is from the Charmouth Mudstone Formation, and is about 190 million years old. If additional photos are required i can get more. The diameter of the ammonite is approx. 6 cm. Thank you!
  4. From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  5. Ichthyosaur Jaw Fragment with Teeth (found 2017)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  6. Plesiosaur Vertebra (found 2017)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  7. Ichthyosaur Jaw Fragment (found 2014)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  8. Ichthyosaur Caudal Vertebra (found 2014)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  9. Ichthyosaur Paddle Bone (found 2017)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  10. Rolled Marine Reptile Bone (found 2017)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  11. Mystery Marine Reptile Bone (found 2014)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  12. Partial Ichthyosaur Vertebra (found 2014)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  13. Ichthyosaur Jaw Fragment (found 2014)

    From the album Fossils From Lyme Regis And Charmouth

    Collected between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset, England. Charmouth Mudstone Formation. About 195-190 Ma.
  14. G'day all! After three years since my last visit to the UK, i finally returned in December 2017 for another massive collecting trip across England. This was my most ambitious tour of the UK's Mesozoic and Cenozoic vertebrate deposits thus far, with 20 days of collecting across ten different locations. These were (in chronological order from first visit): Abbey Wood in East London Beltinge in Kent Bouldnor on the Isle of Wight Compton Bay to Grange Chine on the Isle of Wight Lyme Regis to Charmouth in Dorset Aust Cliff in Gloucestershire Saltwick Bay in Yorkshire Kings dyke in Cambridgeshire Minster in Kent Tankerton in Kent. If you went collecting at any of these places in the last month, there's probably a 25.6975% chance you saw me looking very intimidating hunched over in my hooded rain jacket and muddy pants 14 of those collecting days were back-to-back, a new record for me, though it was very tiring! Having just come from the hot Australian summer, winter collecting in England was certainly a challenge at times and my fingers and toes froze to the point i could barely feel them on multiple occasions. Temperatures for many of the days reached 0 degrees celcius or below, with ice on the ground around me and even snow falling while i was trying to collect! I also went out during the middle of the night to collect using a head torch on some occasions (mainly at Bouldnor) due to the tidal conditions and bad weather which prevented collecting during the day. All in all i am certainly pleased with how the trip went, i was successful at all locations with the exception of Tankerton. For some of the locations (Aust Cliff, Kings dyke, Saltwick Bay) it was also my first and only visit, so i'm glad i still managed to do well with no prior experience at these sites and with such limited time at each. I have tried to write this trip report not only as a means of showing you guys my finds but also to provide an informative overview of some of the better locations for Mesozoic and Cenozoic vertebrates across England for others who might be planning similar trips. Anyway, here are the results! Pictures will be spread across the next 12 posts due to file size restrictions. Abbey Wood - East London (6/12/17, 30/12/17 and 31/12/17) Formation: Blackheath ('Lesnes Shell Bed') Deposit Age: 54.5 million years (Eocene) Fossil Diversity: Sharks, bony fish, chimaeroids, bivalves, gastropods, rare mammals, turtles and crocodiles This was one of only two inland locations i visited (the other being Kings dyke). As i have found, the majority of the UK's easily accessible fossil collecting locations are coastal! Abbey Wood is an excellent location just 45 minutes on the tube from central London. It is situated in a park called the Lesnes Abbey Woods and there is a small collecting area that is open to the public for shallow digging (see my first two pictures below). You definitely need a sifter, shovel and basin of water at this location to have any real success. Be warned though that once you combine the fine Blackheath sediments with water during sifting you get some pretty gnarly mud so expect to come away from this site looking like you've just been rolling around in the dirt. I'm sure i got some interesting looks from people on the tube going back to London it was all worth it though, as every single sift load produced at least one shark tooth across the three days i visited. Very impressive considering the number of obvious holes dotted around the ground from years worth of other collectors visiting. It should be noted though that the mammalian material from this location is of high scientific importance, and collecting here is allowed on the condition that any mammalian finds be brought to the attention of and handed in to specialists like Dr Jerry hooker at the Natural History Museum in London. I didn't find any such material on my trips unfortunately. Here is the designated collecting area. The statue at the front is of Coryphodon, one of the rare Eocene mammals that has been found at the site. The full haul of shark teeth from three days of sifting in the collecting area. Most are from Striatolamia and Sylvestrilamia. I gave up trying to count them once i got past 100 Some of the other fishy bits that often turn up during sifting, including guitar fish teeth on the far left and two dermal denticles (Hypolophodon sylvestris), one gar pike fish tooth in the middle (Lepisosteus suessionensis), one shark vertebra down the bottom and unidentified bony fish vertebrae on the right. I don't typically collect shells, but i picked these up for the sake of adding a bit more diversity to my Abbey Wood collection. These are bivalves and gastropods of various species. The molluscan diversity from this one location is actually quite impressive. Beltinge - Kent (7/12/17 and 29/12/17) Formation: Upnor ('Beltinge Fish Bed') Deposit Age: 56.5 million years old (Paleocene) Fossil Diversity: Sharks, chimaeroids, bony fish, rays, turtles, crocodiles, bivalves, wood This is my favourite shark tooth collecting location in the UK and probably my favourite that i have visited anywhere so far. The shoreline directly opposite the access point at the end of Reculver Drive in Beltinge is loaded with teeth and dare i say it's impossible to come here and walk away empty handed. The shore however is very flat so there is generally only about a two hour window of time that collecting can be carried out here, one hour either side of low tide. Conditions can also vary depending on how sanded over the shore is, whether the Beltinge Fish Bed itself is exposed and how low the tide drops. However even on a poor day you will still find teeth here, just not as many! I experienced this first hand as the first day i visited on December 7th the conditions were excellent. The tide dropped quite low, there wasn't too much sand covering the clay and the Beltinge Fish Bed was exposed. This allowed direct in-situ collecting of teeth from this rich layer and i ended up with something like 240 teeth from just a couple of hours of looking. The second visit i made on December 29 of the same month was almost the exact opposite. It's amazing how quickly these coastal locations can change! The shore was largely sanded over, the fish bed was covered and the tide didn't drop anywhere near as much. I was out about the same amount of time as the first but only managed 69 teeth (only ). Keep these things in mind if you are planning a visit. Luckily though i didn't just find shark teeth, i also managed to locate some of the other less common finds as you will see below! Here is the area of shoreline that produces teeth, photographed on December 7th. It was quite cold and rainy! Three teeth sitting next to each other as found. More as-found shark teeth. This one made me quite excited when i saw it. It's a large piece of chimaeroid fish jaw and mouthplate coming straight from the Beltinge Fish Bed itself (the darker, dull-green sandy clay in this picture). Beltinge is continued in the next post.
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