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Back on the beach - ammonites and nautiluses


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Aurelius

I haven't been collecting from the Lias of Dorset or Somerset (in the UK) for a couple of years, for various reasons, obviously Covid being a major one over the last year. I'd begun to think I'd not really be able to go much again, but then we moved to Somerset, close to many exposures of material from the lower Lias (Hettangian, approx 200m years ago).

 

So these days, I'm able to walk on the beaches every day. Living the dream! So far I've only found two small icthyosaur vertebra, but ammonites and bivalves have been a little more forthcoming. 

 

Here's a few photos of some of this year's finds so far. Apologies that my digits appear in them, I tend to use my sausage-fingers for scale.

 

Caloceras. Before:

 

1402504243_Fossil(1of6).thumb.jpg.e56b0877d05dcc22e2ccf0fb67aecd24.jpg

 

After:

 

273946162_Fossil(2of6).thumb.jpg.bae49dd28d4334be7997797fb7b33a4e.jpg

 

Psiloceras Planorbis (after prep):

 

1011536138_Fossil(3of6).thumb.jpg.e27574f08c58ae193b0c47ebe956312c.jpg

 

Nice little ammonite in a nodule.

 

1395236994_Fossil(4of6).thumb.jpg.857b50019232a2a61c9a351cf45a49b5.jpg

 

Haven't looked up this species yet (lazy) but I have a few:

 

1745666839_Fossil(5of6).thumb.jpg.2baf92670ebcd57c10ee8f666c925964.jpg

 

Tragically incomplete. The two left most parts are not associated with this ammonite. I may try to mould the missing bits out of milliput, or find a creative genius to do it for me in return for a handful of money. The ammonite itself is actually very well preserved (though compressed), what you're seeing here is a thin layer of sticky shale, which totally obscures the thick, golden brown shell. It'll need to be abraded to reveal the shell.

 

152922123_10165115445550038_1800010683711317765_o.thumb.jpg.03315954f9967f5459c1b3a3f290b950.jpg

 

Psiloceras.

 

P3060608.jpg.5bc57b25c14764920e7ddb27abaa128f.jpg

 

Unknown (to me) species, presumably an intermediate/hybrid between psiloceras and caloceras, since the body chamber doesn't have much ribbing.

 

P3060612.jpg.c6532ca58bcbdead75a79e35744a44d4.jpg

 

A lovely nautilus. Quite crushed, but I like it. I told my sister in law that I was naming it after her, because, like her, it was fat, old and knackered but still worth picking up.

 

1855783964_Fossil(6of6).thumb.jpg.4363a4f143b27bdd6e4541e2a92a16a7.jpg

 

My best fossil of the year, and easily one of my best ever. You WOULD NOT BELIEVE how painful it was to get this off the beach. I spent an hour hammering the block to get the weight down. I stopped when I looked down at my arm, and saw that my bicep was huge, trembling, and as it seemed to me, glowing red. At that point, I carefully rolled the boulder into my bag and dragged it off the beach, with only minor whimpering, moaning and crying. I hope to get this prepped as soon as lockdown restrictions ease and I can get it to the preparator. I think the fossil must be at least 15" across.

 

157202108_10222728335531491_4683784054140736507_o.thumb.jpg.352753f8328e320d0933ae21ed6dcf06.jpg

 

 

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fossisle

Wonderful photos and specimens, you are living in a fossil hotspot!!

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Ludwigia

Great finds! That big nautilus should be a humdinger once done. And the ammos with colorful nacre are outstanding.

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FossilDAWG
3 hours ago, Aurelius said:

A lovely nautilus. Quite crushed, but I like it. I told my sister in law that I was naming it after her, because, like her, it was fat, old and knackered but still worth picking up.

So how did that work out for you?

 

Beautiful fossils!!!! :wub:

 

Don

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Aurelius
1 minute ago, FossilDAWG said:

So how did that work out for you?

 

It was fine, she has a good sense of humour and gives as good as she gets! :BigSmile:

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Tidgy's Dad

Thank you for this thread. 

I was born in Bridgwater and have many happy memories of collecting the North Somerset coast during my childhood. :)

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Wrangellian

Great stuff, that is definitely the dream spot for ammo fans.

Your description of what you went through to haul out that biggie sounds familiar.....

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cngodles
On 3/6/2021 at 4:10 PM, Aurelius said:

I spent an hour hammering the block to get the weight down.

Oh what a feeling. But always worth it when you get it back!

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Myrmica

Beautiful finds.  I think I know that spot that you were collecting at.  It is beautiful in itself.  We were there a few years ago and the beach was completely shrouded in thick fog, with only the tilted strata visible. It looked like a science fiction movie set.  And the Psiloceras!

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