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Found 7 results

  1. Dealing with marine algae

    Hello everyone, I found the below ichthyosaur vertebra on the beach at Wimereux two weeks ago. It had obviously been lying there for some time, as it was covered in green algae and barnacles. Based on the advise of various friends and the fact this rock seems to hard and massive to work through using just my Dremel, I'll be leaving the fossil in its matrix. However, I do want to clean it up from the algae and barnacles. As such, I used a 1:2 dilution of 14° household cleaning vinegar and a couple of sturdy brushes to remove most of the algae (dipping the brushes in the solution between brushings) and soaked it in soapy hot water. Areas with tougher algae were treated using the undiluted vinegar. Today removed the remaining barnacles using wooden toothpicks, following it with another soak in hot soapy water and another rinse. Although I think this got rid of all the barnacles, and the piece is no longer entirely coated in green algae, there are still various green spots on the rock (and a slight green sheen on the vertebra itself) that haven't come out with the treatment. (Also the "dead fish smell" still lingers) This makes me wonder about the following things: 1. Can the algae regrow, given enough light and moisture in the air? 2. Has anyone ever experienced algae spreading in their collection after failing to remove all traces of algae (I mean, fungi will spread between books and, as I understand, algae can transmit their spores by air)? 3. Is there a way I can get rid of the remaining algae on the rock? E.g. exposure to sun/UV light? 4. Is there a way something can be done about the slight lingering smell, or is this just something that needs to dissipate over time? Now I read some of you prefer using diluted bleach to remove algae growth from fossils (as mentioned in the post below), but I'm not sure I feel comfortable playing around with such aggressive agents yet...
  2. Ichthyosaur paddle digit (Wimereux): hit or miss

    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?
  3. This Saturday Natalie and I hit the road towards the jurassic and cretaceous clifs in the North of France. This is a 2h trip from where we live, so we left early to make most of the use of the favorible tides on those beaches. the 1st stop were the Titonian deposits near Wimereux, not the most easy place to find fossils, but with patience some nice fossils can be found. Th big problem although on this trip was the wind... this made it relatively hard to search for fossils. we did manage to find a couple of jurassic ammonites, one of them was more than 30cm in diameter but needs a lot of cleaning. In the afternoon we went to the beaches at the cretaceous clifs near Calais. here again the wind gave us a hard time blowing a lot of sand in the air. Although the harsh conditions we did find a few decent cenomanian ammonites, including a nice heteromorph turrilites sp. pictures of the Titonian deposits and finds: pics of the ammonites of the cretaceous site:
  4. Jurassic of the north of France

    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
  5. I'm finally done today with the prepjob of the associated Ichtiosaur verts I found in october near Wimereux in France. thanks to my honney who helped me. We even restored a 4th vertebra hidden under the matrix that was dammaged during the extraction of the fossil. As found: start of the prepp: Work in progress: adding the broken vertebra: the finnished fossil:
  6. Ammonite: prep-worth?

    Hi all, Found this big ammonite at a landslide in the cliffs at Wimereux, France. It's from the Jurassic. Do you guys think it is worth prepping? If so, what tools/techniques should I use, and what should I expect as a result? And do you have any other tips for an amateur preparator like me? Thanks in advance, Max
  7. Fossil Hunting in the Pas-de-Calais So last week was a lot of fun for me. Saturday afternoon we left home to go to northern France, the Pas-de-Calais. We first stopped in Belgium to visit some family, so we only arrived at our B&B near Wissant in the late Sunday afternoon. Our main goal was to go to that region in order to do, obviously, fossil-hunting! And that is what we did. I gotta say that I was (pleasantly) surprised with how things ended up! Read on to see what we found... Day 1: Wissant The evening of our arrival we were walking in the small city of Wissant, which lies in between the two famous Caps: Cap-Blanc-Nez (to the north) and Cap-Gris-Nez (to the south). Therefore it is a popular place for visitors to stay during the holidays, as it is ideally placed in between the two main touristic sites of the area. We had a really nice Bed & Breakfast on the outskirts of the city, so that was good too. Anyways, so we were walking the city to try and find a restaurant for the evening. At some point, I come across this small area where there is very dry mud/sand-like sediment, in the middle of the city. I look inside and there are lots of bones and jaws from different critters! Also a few shells. Although everything was in matrix, I still suspect that the things are modern (in the sense of 'non-fossil'. I'd say it still is a few hundreds of years old.), mainly because the bones are from sheep, cow and the shells are from edible species. So probably remnants of some primitive food-left-overs junk pile or something. There were also deer bones too (roe?), not as sure as to how that got there. Anyways, even though the bones are probably modern, still cool finds IMO! Total haul
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