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Leedsichthys96

Marine Reptile Fossil Hunting

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Leedsichthys96

Hello,

I am trying to find a site on the south coast of England that has a high frequency of marine reptile fossils - I have visited Charmouth a number of times and only found a badly weathered caudal vertebra, does anyone have any knowledge at other sites?

Thank you :)

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Kosmoceras

That stretch around Charmouth to Lyme Regis is your best bet for marine reptile material on the south coast. A bit of patience, luck and a good idea of where to look along the beach profile and you're in with a good chance.

Regards,

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glu

I visited Lyme last year and I found 3 verts loose on the foreshore and a rib near the cliff, so I assume that reptiles are quite common. I suggest you to give another try. Others very good places are Aust and Watchet. Also near you (Peterborough) you can also find reptiles

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Leedsichthys96

Thanks for the response guys, I'll give Charmouth another go, Peterborough is good if you can get into the brick pits - most have been flooded since becoming disused. What kind of material do you usually find things like ribs and good verts in, are they generally loose or in larger boulders? Do you know whether the kimmeridge Bay and Chapmans Pool area is any good?

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Terry Dactyll

Hi... Kimmeridge and Champmans Pool area does produce some very nice material... It is also collected frequently by some very knowledgeable collectors... You may of heard of the Etches collection, getting a new museum built to house it....and can be quite dangerous as the tidal ranges during high winds can be quite small with frequent cliff falls... Exploring this area should be done gradually and carefully to build up experience and knowledge of the area....

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Leedsichthys96

Oh right I'll probably wait until I'm more experienced to tackle that area, I'll give Charmouth another go, anyone have any tips to make the most of the collecting? Thank you

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Koss1959

The longer you spend out, the more likely you are to find something. I usually stay out until I find something worth bringing home, but sometimes the tide's coming in and you gotta call it a day. There isn't much bone about at the moment. I found a six inch Asteroceras a few days ago. There's always stuff about. Literally every single of my best fossils have been found in poor conditions. In summer or long periods of calm weather. Winters haven't been that good to me, unfortunately.

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Leedsichthys96

Thanks Koss1959, I have been trying to get over to Black Ven as much as possible lately, I'm at Portsmouth University so trips to the area tend to be sporadic at best, hopefully the next one will coincide with some bad weather! An ammonite of that size is very impressive! Thanks for the tips!

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Koss1959

No problem. I was out today and found a piece of ichthyosaur jaw. Nothing special but nothing to turn your nose up at.

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Terry Dactyll

A six inch Asty is a fantastic find... I'd like to see that.....

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Leedsichthys96

Oh excellent find, do you have a picture of the jaw Koss? I agree Terry Dactyll

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Koss1959

The asti is already out for prep. I'll be sure to post pictures when it comes back. Yes I have a few pictures of the jaw. It doesn't have any teeth preserved unfortunately.

20160302_134737.jpg

20160302_134755.jpg

Also went out yesterday and found an apodoceras. Not much to look at right now. They're very rare and I've found two in less than six months.

Edited by Koss1959

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Leedsichthys96

Very nice find, that was just sat in the shingle?

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Koss1959

Yup. First picture was taken before I even touched it.

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Leedsichthys96

Oh brilliant you must have a very keen and experienced eye to spot that!

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Koss1959

It was easy to spot. Quite a bit bigger than the other rocks around it, different shape, different colour. Knowing bone texture helps too. Plus, when bone is wet, it's quite easy to spot.

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Terry Dactyll

I never seem to spot too much bone.... I have a few verts Icthy & Plesi, a plesi femur but I'm always looking for keels or spirals...I was out with my stepson last year and he found a complete lower jaw... He asked me what I thought it was in situ in the shale and I said porobably wood lol... He insisted we lifted it and to my supprise it was complete teeth n all.... Just goes to show...

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Leedsichthys96

I agree spotting bone especially when there's clay or mud on it, reluctant to take something with me in case its a whole lot of nothing!

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Terry Dactyll

I ended up buying one lol....

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Leedsichthys96

That seems to be a recurring theme with most trips!!! :D

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Koss1959

If it's any consolation, I haven't yet found a decent piece of (somewhat articulated) jaw. It's very high on my list. I did however find around six large ichthyosaur teeth and a small piece of jaw in a rock a few weeks back. A few of us locals looked at it and we were debating whether it was wood or teeth. It can be hard to tell, especially with teeth. A test you can do that will always tell you: get a hard, light coloured rock and lightly rub it against the fossil. If it comes out brown or black, it's wood. If it comes out white, it's more likely bone. Wood will also chip off with your fingernail quite easily.

I actually only go out for bone. That's what interests me. But I end up finding ammonites instead!

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