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Hi all, Found this stone at Pointe aux Oies in Wimereux two days ago, amongst the pebbles collected next to a shelve down towards sea from the spot where I had found an ichthyosaur vertebra (on matrix) two days before this find. I picked it up because 1) the stone is unusually flat; 2) has exactly the right shape and thickness to it for an ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaur paddle bone (see picture below); 3) has certain ornamentation top and bottom; 4) seems to be of a different type of stone than I've generally come across in the area; and 5) has some weight to it. It vaguely reminds me of paddle bones found in the Oxford Clay at Peterborough. Yet, what makes me doubt, though, is that there is no clear radial ornamentation on either top or bottom of the piece, as would by typical for an ichthyosaur paddle bone. A friend of mine, more familiar with fossils from the region, suggested it could be a crocodile scute, as the ones found further up the coast, but this, to me, seems unlikely, as 1) the ornamentation on my find differs significantly from what's typical for crocodilians; 2) the underside is not flat as it would be for crocodile; and 3) the piece seem to thick for a scute. Size is about 4.4 x 3.4 x 1.4 cm (1.7 x 1.3 x 0.6 ") Brachypterygius extremus paddle from Ichthyosaurs: a day in the life... My piece reminds me of the radius. Now my question is: Is this just a rock - i.e. am I seeing things because I really want to - or is it an actual fossil? Is this an ichthyosaur paddle bone/phalange or something else?
Yesterday Natalie and me went on a windy fieldtrip to the coast of the north of France, this time searching for jurassic ( Titionian ) fossils. Although this site is less productive than the late cretaceous sites in the area we always manage to find some iteresting things. Most of the comon fossils here are bivalve "steinkerns" but from time to time we find ammonites and bone fragments of marine reptiles. the first decent find was a rib fragment of marine reptile, the piece was well embedded in the matrix and very brittel, I managed to get it out, but in a lot of fragments. This wil be a puzzle to put back together once the pieces are dry. Halfway the clay cliffs Natalie found a huge ammonite between the boulders. we removed as much matrix as possible and helped with a fragment of fishnet from the beach we dragged the fossil back to the car
On my last fieldtrip in France at the pointe aux oies, I found this specimen in the late jurrasic layers on the beach ( Kimmeridgian ). I am not at home with vertebrate fossils, but could this be a fish scale? any extra info is welcome. the specimen is 1.5cm long