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The Amateur Paleontologist

Møns Klint Fossil Excavations (MKFE)

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This sounds like a very worthy cause indeed!

Are you doing this project by yourself or in association with other organisations?

Be sure to keep us posted on your progress. Best of luck!

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Yes, please keep us updated as this is most interesting.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

This sounds like a very worthy cause indeed!

Are you doing this project by yourself or in association with other organisations?

Be sure to keep us posted on your progress. Best of luck!

For now I'm running the project by myself but over the years I hope to get the support of the Geological Society of Denmark and the GeoCenter Møns Klint.

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For now I'm running the project by myself but over the years I hope to get the support of the Geological Society of Denmark and the GeoCenter Møns Klint.

I'm certain your project will capture their attention!

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Thank you everyone for your kind support for this project.

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Just to show you how diverse the Maastrichtian fauna of Møns Klint is:

-Cytherelloidea tricostata (cytherellid ostracod)

-Porosphaera globularis (sponge)

-P. adhaerens (sponge)

-Cliona sp. (sponge)

-Aulaxinia sp. (sponge)

-A. sulcifera (sponge)

-Plinthosella squamosa (sponge)

-Coelosmilia excavata (coral)

-Gorgonella sp. (coral)

-Pavolunulites moenensis (lunulitid bryozoan)

-Membranipora (bryozoan)

-Osculopora sp. (bryozoan)

-Desmepora sp. (bryozoan)

-Rostraria sp. (bryozoan)

-Porina sp. (bryozoan)

-Diastopora sp. (bryozoan)

-Conorca conica (annelid)

-Pentaditrupa subtorquata (annelid)

-Neomicrobis crenatostriatus (annelid)

-Cementula versipellis (annelid)

-Scalpellum maximum (barnacle)

-S. fossula (barnacle)

-S. beisseli (barnacle)

-S. depressum (barnacle)

-Brachylepas naissanti (barnacle)

-Cretiscalpellum glabrum (barnacle)

-Pycnodonte vesicularis (pycnodont bivalve)

-Inoceramidae indet.

-Inoceramus sp. (inoceramid bivalve)

-"Inoceramus" cf. pierrensis (inoceramid bivalve)

-Mimachlamys cretosa (bivalve)

-Arca ernae (arcoid bivalve)

-Barbatia hennigi (arcoid bivalve)

-Bathyarca perla (arcoid bivalve)

-Catella katinkae (arcoid bivalve)

-Entolium membranaceum (bivalve)

-Plagiostoma hoperi (bivalve)

-Teredolites (bivalve)

-Gyropleura ciplyana (bivalve)

-Atreta nilssoni (bivalve)

-Neithea sexcostata (bivalve)

-Rugia tegulata (cancellothyridid bivalve)

-Aemula inusitata (brachiopod)

-Argyrotheca coniuncta (brachiopod)

-A. hirundo (brachiopod)

-A. obstinata (brachiopod)

-Terebratulina faujasii (brachiopod)

-T. gracilis (brachiopod)

-T. longicollis (brachiopod)

-T. subtilis (brachiopod)

-Trigonosemus pulchellus (brachiopod)

-Meonia semiglobularis (brachiopod)

-Cisilina gisii (brachiopod)

-C. jasmundi (brachiopod)

-Rugia acutirostris (brachiopod)

-R. tenuicostata (brachiopod)

-Scumulus inopinatus (brachiopod)

-Kingena pentagulata (brachiopod)

-Neoliothyrina obesa (brachiopod)

-N. fittoni (brachiopod)

-Dalligas nobilis (brachiopod)

-Magas chitoniformis (brachiopod)

-Dracius carnifex (brachiopod)

-Vermiculothecidea vermicularis (brachiopod)

-Cretirhyncia limbata (brachiopod)

-Crania aff. craniolaris (brachiopod)

-Isocrania costata (brachiopod)

-Belemnella occidentalis (belemnitid belemnite)

-Belemnitella casimirovensis (belemnitid belemnite)

-Acanthoscaphites tridens (scaphitid ammonite)

-Diplmomoceras cylindraceum (diplomoceratid ammonite)

-Baculites knorrianus (baculitid ammonite)

-B. vertebralis (baculitid ammonites)

-Ryncholites sp. (nautiloid)

-Indeterminate nautiloids

-Indeterminate teuthoids

-Martinosigra elongata (spatangoid? echinoid)

-Gauthiosoma princeps (regular echinoid)

-Various indeterminate regular echinoids

-Cidaris faujasi (regular echinoid)

-Zeuglopleurus wehrli (regular echinoid)

-Cardiaster granulosus (irregular echinoid)

-C. platornatus (irregular echinoid)

-Perionaster cotteaui (irregular echinoid)

-Echinocorys scutata (irregular echinoid)

-Galerites vulgaris (irregular echinoid)

-Chomataster acules (asteroid)

-Teichaster favosus (asteroid)

-Pycinaster aff. cornutus (asteroid)

-Recurvaster radiatus (asteroid)

-Metopaster tumidus (asteroid)

-Ophioderma substriatum (ophiuroid)

-Isselicrinus buchii (crinoid)

-Nielsenucrinus stelliferus (crinoid)

-Hertha plana (crinoid)

-H. mystica (crinoid)

-Amphorometra conoidea (crinoid)

-Ophiosmilax mirabilis (ophiobyrsine ophiuroid)

-Asteronyx? spinulosa (asteronychid ophiuroid)

-Euryale palmiferum (euryalid ophiuroid)

-Trichaster? sp. (euryalid ophiuroid)

-Ophiura pentagona (ophiomyxid ophiuroid)

-Ophiomyxa? jekerica (ophiomyxid ophiuroid)

-O.? rhipidata (ophiomyxid ophiuroid)

-Ophioscolex? cretaceus (ophiomyxid ophiuroid)

-Ophiacantha? danica (ophiacanthid ophiuroid)

-O.? punctata (ophiacanthid ophiuroid)

-O.? rugosa (ophiacanthid ophiuroid)

-O.? striata (ophiacanthid ophiuroid)

-Sinosura jasmundensis (ophiacanthid ophiuroid)

-Hemieuryale? parva (hemieuryalid ophiuroid)

-Stegophiura? hagenowi (ophiurid ophiuroid)

-Amphiura? plana (gnathophiurid ophiuroid)

-Ophiothrix? cristata (ophiothricid ophiuroid)

-Ophiactis? sulcata (ophiactid ophiuroid)

-Ophiocoma? rasmusseni (ophiocomid ophiuroid)

-O.? senonensis (ophiocomid ophiuroid)

-Ophioderma? radiatum (ophiodermatid ophiuroid)

-O.? substriatum (ophiodermatid ophiuroid)

-Many more ophiuroids...

-Megasqualus sp. (synechodontiform elasmobranch)

-Anomotodon plicatus (mitsukurinid elasmobranch)

-Synechodus faxensis (synechodontiform elasmobranch)

-Various osteichthyans

-cf. Thoracosaurus (gavialoid crocodylomorph)

-Mosasaurus lemmonieri (mosasaurid mosasaur)

-M. hoffmanni (mosasaurid mosasaur)

-M. sp. (mosasaurid mosasaur)

-Plioplatecarpus (platecarpid mosasaur)

And that's not all! There are still even more genera and species from there that just haven't been documented.

Fantastic description :wub: !

Martinosigra elongata is not a Spatangoid, but a Holasteroid, for what I read.I know that Spantagoids have some structures called petaloids (where they have ambulacral feets used for breathing, I think) and Holasteroids don't .


Here it's a link to distinguish the different echinoids:http://www.calacademy.org:8080/sites/default/files/assets/docs/pdf/breslin_cara_ppt07.pdf

Edited by Guguita2104

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Thanks for the kind compliment on my listing of the various genera of M. K. And thanks as well for the correction about the Spatangoidea/Holasteroidea confusion. Even though the two are related, it's better to be accurate.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Two quotes from the same paper that show the importance of the fossils of Møns Klint:

- "The coastal cliff Møns Klint [...] is an important locality for the study of the Maastrichtian of northern Europe" (page 89).

- "rich benthic fossil assemblages" (page 90)

REFERENCE: Jelby et al. 2014; The Lower Maastrichtian Hvidskud succession, Møns Klint, Denmark: calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy, carbon isotope stratigraphy, and bulk and brachiopod oxygen isotopes.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Thanks for the kind words and for the paper (even though I already had it) ☺

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The Amateur Paleontologist

MKFE starting Sunday!!

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Good luck and have fun with this project. Is the K/T boundary preserved there as it is at SK?

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The Amateur Paleontologist

No. MK is from the lower Maastrichtian; and the layer above the Chalk of MK is Quaternary in age due to an unconformity.

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Hope you had a nice trip to Moen, can't wait to hear about what you have found.

I found this bibliography about Moen. It is made in the context of a national park project. Only part is about the cliff, but there may be something you can use.

• Aber, J. S. (1980). "Kineto-stratigraphy at Hvideklint, Møn, Denmark and its regional significance." Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark 28: 81-93.
• Aber, J. S. (1982). "Model for glaciotectonism." Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark 30: 79-90.
• Aber, J. S. (1985). "The character of glaciotectonism." Geol. en Mijnbouw 64: 389-395.
• Aber, J. S. (1988). "Spectrum of constructional glaciotectonic landforms. Genetic Classification of Glacigenic Deposits. R. P. Goldthwait and C. L. Matsch. Rotterdam, Balkema: 281-292.
• Aber, J. S., D. G. Croot, et al. (1989). "Glaciotectonic Landforms and Structures. " Dordrecht/Boston/London, Kluwer Academic Publishers. 200s.
• Abildgaard, S. (1759). "Beskrivelse over Stevens Klint og dens naturlige Mærkværdigheder" København.
• Abildgaard, S. (1781). "Physisk-mineralogisk Beskrivelse over Møens Klint." København. (refereret fra Hintze 1937).
• Agricola, G. (1546). "Habent autem pleræsque regions cretæ colles ut Gallia, Britannia, Muna deserta maris Balthici insula, qua e Pomerania nauigatur ad Copenhagen Daniæ, at saxum, puo durius eo difficilius ex se lineas producit. Constantiæ murus magna ex parte ex id genus saxo constat.” De natura fossilium. (refereret fra Hintze 1937)
• Bedemar, V. (1820). "Ueber die Kalk- und Kreide-Formation von Faxöe, Stevens und Möens Klint". Leonhard’s Mineralogisches Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1820. Frankfurt am Main 1829 (refereret fra Hintze 1937).
• Bennike, O., E. O. Heiberg, et al. (1993). "Første danske lemminger." Naturens Verden 57: 57-63.
• Bennike, O., M. Houmark-Nielsen, et al. (1994). "A multi-disciplinary macrofossil study of Middle Weichselian sediments at Kobbelgård, Møn, Denmark." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeocology 111: 1-15.
• Bennike, O., J. B. Jensen, et al. (2001). "Late Quaternary records of Naja ssp. (Najadaceae) from the southwestern Baltic region." Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 114: 259-267.
• Berthelsen, A. (1973). "Weichselian ice advances and drift successions in Denmark." Bull. Geol. Inst. Univ. Upps. New Series 5: 21-29.
• Berthelsen, A. (1978). "The Methodology of kineto-stratigraphy as applied to glacial geology." Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark 27: 25-38.
• Berthelsen, A. (1979). "Recumbent folds and Boudinage structures formed by subglacial shear: An example of Gravity tectonics." Geologie en Mijnbouw 58(2): 253-260.
• Berthelsen, A. (1980). "En Hatformet Bakke." Varv 3: 82-88.
• Berthelsen, A. (1981). "INQUA-Field meeting in Denmark 1981. " University of Copenhagen. 5 s.
• Berthelsen, A. (1986). "Glaciotectonic structures in the cliffs of southern and eastern Møn, Denmark.. " Institut for Almen Geologi, Københavns Universitet. 3 s.
• Berthelsen, A., P. Konradi, & Petersen, K.S. (1977). "Kvartære lagfølger og strukturer i Vestmøns klinter." Dansk geologisk Forenings Årsskrift for 1976: 93-99.
• Berthelsen, A., P. Konradi, Peteresen, K.S., Rasmussen, L. A. & Sjørring, S. (1976). Nordqua ekskursion 1976 til: Sjælland, Falster, Møn. 31s.
• Birkelund, T. (1957). "Upper Cretaceous Belemnites from Denmark." Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab Biologiske Skrifter 9: 69.
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• Bromley, R. G. (1996). “Trace fossils. Biology, taphonomy and applications.” Chapman & Hall, London 341 s.
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• Sorgenfrei, T. (1951). "Oversigt over prækvartærets topografi, stratigrafi og tektonik i området Fyn-Sydsjælland-Lolland-Falster-Møn." Meddelelser fra Danmarks Geologiske Forening 12: 166-171.
• Steinich, G. (1967). "Sedimentstrukturen der Rügener Schreibkreide." Geologie 16(5): 570-583.
• Steinich, G. (1972). "Pseudo-Hardgrounds in der Unter-Maastricht-Schreibkreide der Insel Rügen." Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe 2: 213-223.
• Stockmarr, T. (1996). "En kvartærgeologisk model over det sydvestlige Møn" Upubliceret speciale. Geologisk Institut, Københavns Universitet. 164 s.
• Surlyk, F. (1970). "Die stratigraphie des Maastricht von Dänemark und Norddeutschland afgrund von Brachiopoden." Newsl. Stratigr. I: 7-16.
• Surlyk, F. (1971). "Skrivekridtklinterne på Møn." Varv. Ekskursionsfører 2: 5-24.
• Surlyk, F. (1972). "Morphological adaptations and population structures of the Danish chalk brachiopods (Maastrichtian, Upper Cretaceous)." Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab Biologiske Skrifter 19(2): 57.
• Surlyk, F. (1973). "Autecology and taxonomy of two Upper Cretaceus craniacean brachiopods." Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 22: 219-243.
• Surlyk, F. (1974). "Life habit, feeding mechanism and population structure of the Cretaceous brachiopod genus Aemula." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 15: 185-203.
• Surlyk, F. (1979). "Maastrichtian brachiopods from Denmark." T. Birkelund and R. G. Bromley (red). Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary events. University of Copenhagen: 45-51.
• Surlyk, F. (1980). "Upper Cretaceous and Danian outcrops in Scania and East Denmark. " Upper Cretaceous and Danian of NW Europe. T. Birkelund and R. G. Bromley. Guide to excursion A-69. Guide-Book, Paris, 26th International Geological Congress: 21-48.
• Surlyk, F. (1984). "The Maastrichtian Stage in NW Euroope, and its brachiopod zonation." Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark 33: 217-223.
• Surlyk, F. (1997). "A cool-water carbonate ramp with Bryozoan mounds: Late Cretaceous-Danian of the Danish Basin. " I James N.P. & Clarke, J.D.A. (red) Cool-water carbonates. SEPM Special Publication 56, 293-307.
• Surlyk, F. & T. Birkelund (1977). "An integrated stratigraphical study of fossil assemblages from the Maastrichtian White Chalk of northwestern Europe. " Concepts and Methods in biostratigraphy. E. G. Kauffman and J. E. Hazel. Stroudsbourgh, Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross Inc: 257-284.
• Surlyk, F. & E. Håkansson (1999). "Maastrichtian and Danian strata in the southeastern part of the Danish Basin. " Field Trip Guidebook. G. K. Pedersen and C. L. B. 19th regional European Meeting of Sedimentology. August 24-26.: 29-58.
• Thomsen, E. (1995). "Kalk og kridt i den danske undergrund." I Nielsen, O.B. (red) Danmarks Geologi fra Kridt til Idag. Aarhus. Aarhus Geokompendier 1: 31-67
• Thomsen, E. & E. Håkansson (1995). "Sexual versus asexual dispersal in clonal animals: examples from cheilostome bryozoans." Paleobiology 21(4): 496-508.
• Troelsen, J. (1937). "Om den stratigrafiske inddeling af skrivekridtet i Danmark." Meddelelser fra Danmarks Geologiske Forening 9: 260-263.
• Ødum, H. (1933): "Marint Interglacial på Sjælland, Hven, Møn og Rügen." Danmarks Geologiske Undersøgelser 4,2,(10): 44 s.

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The Amateur Paleontologist


Hi everyone, I finished the MKFE two weeks ago. And how to say, it was... Fantastic! Excellent! Whichever term you like!

A lot of material was recovered, especially echinoderm fossils. Even one vertebrate remain was found!

The best finds shall be donated next year to the GeoCenter Møns Klint (GCMK).

Here follows a summary of the main fossils found.


-Crinoidea; Isocrinida:

>Isselicrinus buchii ; ~14 columnal fragments ranging in number of segments preserved from 1 to 15

>I. buchii; columnal fragment of 15 segments preserving a nearly complete cirrus, one of the many "side arms" attached to the stem (a more complete account of that fossil will be written in the next few days)

-Asteroidea; Stauranderasteridae:

>Recurvaster radiatus?; ambulacral plate

>R. radiatus?; abactinal plate

-Echinoidea; Cidaroida

>Cidaris sp. ; 4 incomplete spines that preserve the minute points/spikes

>C. sp. ; two portions of the test

>Cidaroida indet.: two mouth plates (part of the "Aristotle's Lantern") from a small cidaroid

+ "non-cidaroid": Phymosoma granulosum complete primary spine

-Invertebrata; INCERTAE SEDIS

>A long, tubular and hollow fossil (a more complete account of that fossil found will be written in the next few days)


>An indeterminate shark tooth crown with root missing; probably Synechodus faxensis (a more complete account of that fossil found will be written in the next few days).

This was merely a preliminary report that only gave a general overview on this first MKFE. In the next days and weeks; I'll provide much more detailed accounts on the fossils found; I shall also share with you a "diary" covering what I did, and what I found each day on this MKFE N¤ 1. Finally, I will also create on this forum a gallery of all the fossils I found. Hope you all enjoyed this "preliminary account".


Edited by The Amateur Paleontologist

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The Amateur Paleontologist

MKFE Nº 1 -- "Log Book"


Saturday 6th August 2016:


My family and I leave from our house in Lille for a long, and tiring 8-hour drive to Møns Klint. I never get bored however, I keep consulting and poring over the books and papers that I brought with me for field research; the 5-day long first Møns Klint Fossil Excavation was to start the next day! Often, I also review and correct various MKFE memos that I had made on my phone, for instance details about how the prospection was to be set, what I want to find et caetera. However, there loomed ahead of me that worrying feeling of impending doom. You know it don't you? That horrible feeling that you will come empty-handed after 5 days of gruelling fossil hunting.

Finally, at 10:30 PM, we reach the summer house at the island of Møn. My parents and my brother crash immediately from tiredness into their respective beds; I stay up another half hour doing a final review of all the Danish Chalk fossils litterature. I decide to go to bed, knowing that the following week would be very tough.



Sunday 7th:


After an eventful morning, my dad and I are finally at GeoCenter Møns Klint (GCMK)  at 1:30 PM. Had it not been for the faraway breakfast shop and other minor details, we would have been at GCMK by noon! Anyway, what's done is done and I need to presently focus on the task at hand. I go to GCMK to see a bit the chalk fossils exhibited over there to know exactly what I want to find. My attention keeps returning to the echinoderm, fish and reptile fossils shown in the various exhibits. Seeing those fossil remains, my thoughts constantly wane from "I'll find that!" to "I'll NEVER find that!". Indeed, echinoderm and vertebrate fossils were on top of my "bucket list".

Following this little visit, we grab the hammers and chisels and set down the long five hundred-step staircase that leads down to the beach and start prospecting. Hours pass. No sign of a fossil. I dig among the chalky rubble at the base of the cliffs of Møn, pick up some pieces of chalk, examine them. I plunge them for a moment into the waters of the Baltic Sea. There seem to be traces of fossils. I scrape around them with small dental tools. Some disarticulated pieces of bryozoan fall into my dusty and dry palms. Just that. 4 small bits of Membranipora sp. How pathetic (don't take this as an insult to bryozoan lovers! This was only to myself). As my father and I rise up the long staircase, it seems as if the feeling of disappointment and worry rises as well. 4 days left. 4 days left to find something special, worthy of the MKFE.

Watching handball live from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games doesn't cheer me up at all.



Monday 8th:


Today we wake up again 8:30 AM. I am still in a relatively bad mood from yesterday's very unfruitful fossil hunt. But today was a special day. In less than two hours, I was to meet Professors Philip Currie and Eva Koppelhus! I was so excited. Prof. Currie and I talked for a very long time, about a wide smattering of topics: field trips, Dinosaur Provincial Park, opalized fossils and the fossils of Møns Klint. 

After having rounded up the meeting, my family and I go back to the cliffs, with a hope of finding something of more value. This time, we go slightly further afield (about 300 meters extra) than yesterday. Here, the chalk facies that we walk and prospect on is wider and somewhat more friable. I excavate the rubble with the hammer, pick up a handful of clayey chalk and select a few pieces of rock. Select some, examine them; nothing. I put the mound back down. I recover another few pieces of chalk - I examine each of them very closely. Then a faint and dusty pattern welcomes me. I spray the minute piece with water. The five pointed pattern becomes even clearer. No need to use an identification guide, I recognize the fossil immediately: two articulated columnal segments from the isocrinid crinoid Isselicrinus buchii (Roemer 1840). I am so happy. This is small but much more valuable than a few fragments of a Membranipora. By the way,  my fossil hunting activities constantly draw attention from many people throughout the week (people also sometimes refer to me as a "professional" ^_^...) After this find, that lifts my hopes substantially, we trudge on a bit longer then turn back to the staircase. I willingly get myself "stuck" on a ledge of chalk just next to the cliff itself, so as to gain a bit of extra fossil hunting time before leaving. My eyes furtively skirt along the cliff face for any telltale sign. Then I see it; light grey on light beige: another piece of echinoderm. My heart jumps when I recognize the familiar pitted structure of a Goniasteridae ambulacral ossicle. I excavate it using dental tools. An Isocrinid columnal fragment and a Goniasterid ossicle: I hope these two finds are a sort of "turning point" in the quality and quantity of fossils recovered during this MKFE.



Tuesday 9th:


No fossil hunting, today's a break from the rough and tough seaside fossil prospection. During this break, we visit family in Roskilde, mainland Denmark. Despite this break, I take advantage of the extra time to continue working on the fossils of Møns Klint, (re)reading papers etc... I do of course spend time with my cousins; demonstrating to them Aikido (a Japanese martial art) techniques, sharing jokes and stories. After diner in Roskilde with my uncle, aunt, and cousins, we get back to Møn fairly late, and hurry to go to bed. Break is over. Three days to find good stuff for the MKFE.



Wednesday 10th:


After a quick and early breakfast, my father and I head out to the cliffs of Møn. I feel hopeful. In the first half hour on the shingle, we find nothing, apart from a little piece of bryozoan. We trudge onwards. After 6 hours - in total during this week - of fossil hunting here, we start to get a feel for where more fossils can be found. I climb onto a ledge, and start looking for traces on the cliff wall. Soon enough, I spot a fairly long greyish smudge. After excavation of the (rather insignificant) fossil, I realise that it is a small sponge. Having had a quick break, I resume the fossil hunting. Rock after rock I "smash my way through" the rubble heaps of chalk with my hammer. No fossil. As I am about to break another fist-sized mound of chalk, I notice a shiny glint from the chalk. That glint is coming from something tiny and dark-coloured... I carefully extract the little "thing" from the chalk and place it in a small plastic container... Could it really be what I was thinking of? What I was hoping for? Research will tell...

Shortly after, I return to prospecting on the chalk ledge. Seeing a yellow/beige point like structure poking out of the cliff face, I start excavating it with the help of small dental tools. The result is a Phymosoma granulosum (Goldfuss 1829) primary spine. Small but complete.

On the way back to the summer house, I intensively pore over various research papers. They all cleared my doubts about that mysterious tiny and dark object: I had found a micro shark tooth! Obviously, I had fulfilled one of the goals of MKFE Nº 1: finding vertebrate material! Further research will hopefully tell me what genera it belongs to, but for now I can refer to it as an Elasmobranch tooth crown.

Having rounded up lunch, my family and I go for an afternoon session to the cliffs. This time however, we go much further afield, to reach a different (but as long as the other one) staircase which leads us to a (unfortunately) rather less fossiliferous portion of the cliffs. Oh and by the way, it's pouring cats and dogs. Visibility is poor, we are soked to the bones but we try as hard as we can to find fossils. Then I see a relatively familiar pattern in a piece of flint. I pick it up and examine it. The fossil I have here is a small Echinocorys. A small and heavily distorted Echinocorys. It had clearly known better days. Minutes later, my mum finds a small portion of a Belemnitella. I sit among a pile of chalk rubble and observe pieces of rock one by one. I pick up a fairly large nodule of chalk, and split it in several fragments. All of them seem devoid of any fossil. Apart from the last one. There it is. Grey on pure white, a cross section of a cidaroid sea urchin spine. Thinking that it could continue fairly deep into the rock, I pack it and decide to give it an acid "bath" once back at the summer house.



Thursday 11th:


Today, before fossil hunting, we start with a picnic lunch composed primarily of delicious Danish hot dogs ("Danske Pølser"). Following this, we visit GCMK (which was by now my 5th visit here), and watch a 3D movie, "IMAX Sea Monsters; a prehistoric adventures". The chalk fossils (from the American Midwest, in this film) shown here motivate me even further to find good quality fossil material...

Back on the beach, my family and I are about to go far afield, when something stops us in our tracks: a cidaroid spine poking out of the cliff face. Then another. And another. In the span of less than half an hour, we found at least 3 Cidaris spines. It takes us several hours to excavate the spines, because they go directly into the cliff wall. As my mum reaches for a tool, she accidentally slips on the wet chalk and falls down the ledge. She isn't badly hurt, but the injury prevents here from digging any more today. I was on my own. But that didn't stop me from finding fossils. The site I had discovered was a real "paradise" for disarticulated echinoderm remains! I decided to call this small portion of the cliff face the "Echinoderm Quarry". The Quarry seemed to be particularly rich in crinoid columnal fragments and cidaroid spines. This is where I was to prospect on the last day of the MKFE Nº 1. Tomorrow. As it was becoming late, I decided to leave one of the cidaroid spines in place within the cliff face and finish excavating it tomorrow. I mark the location of the fossil with a smiley face, not too visible though, just enough so that I could recognize it. 



Friday 12th:


Last day. One more day to find good fossils. I have the whole morning and afternoon. As soon as my dad, my brother and myself are down the long stairs, we "run" to the Echinoderm Quarry back to where I have left the third Cidaris spine. Due to the fact that I hadn't dug much of it yesterday, I have a long hour of excavation ahead of me. Immediately once I have pulled out the spine from its chalky tomb, I spot a yellow/beige, small (1 cm long) and sharp ridge. I start working on it. In half an hour, I have dug out something small but relatively rare: a mouth plate of the Aristotle's Lantern of a small cidaroid. We go back up the stairs and to get lunch.

After that, we head out for the last fossil hunting session of MKFE Nº 1. By the way, we have limited time, less than 3 hours, due to the fact that we have reserved diner at an Italian restaurant for 7:30 PM. My family and I go down the staircase as quick as we can; then hurry to the Echinoderm Quarry. I feel as if it has more to give us. My parents go for a walk but I stay at the Quarry, with my brother keeping an eye on me, making sure that I was safe. First come several Isselicrinus buchii columnal fragments. A few bryozoan pieces. Two or three goniasterid abactinal ossicles. My mum and dad come back from their walk. Which can only mean one thing. It is soon time to go, and "say goodbye" to Møns Klint and the MKFE Nº 1 :(:(. Then my mum says "If there isn't anything else to dig out, it's time to go". As a "last chance" of finding something and digging it out, my eyes furtively skirt the wall of the Echinoderm Quarry, in search of any sign, any telltale pattern. I scrape absent-mindedly the rock with my dental tools, and some of it crumbles revealing what was "hidden". Then I see it. I reply to my mum's words saying, "well, I just found something". The fossil structure before me is like nothing I had seen in this week; neither in the fossils I found nor in the academic papers (N. B.; Further research showed that this fossil was a serpulid, probably a Ditrupula sp.). It is hollow, and seems tubular. The fossil was going strait into the cliff. Holy snarge. That was a lot of overburden I would have to remove. I first try excavating it with my little dental tools, thinking that it was not too long. I remove a segment. Then I see the same pattern. The fossil is going deeper. What's more, the fossil is very brittle. I remove another segment. Still no sign of an ending. Holy snarge. I grab the hammer and chisel, and start hitting the cliff face, all around the fossil. I pry off a fairly large chunk. The fossil is still continuing into the rock. I remove another chunk of rock from the wall of the Echinoderm Quarry. Finally, I seem to have reached the end. We pack up the two large pieces of chalk in kitchen paper, put them in the bag. Before leaving, my mum selects a large boulder of chalk for me to continue try finding fossils, back at home. We head up to diner, away from Møns Klint, towards that huge workload of preparation and research I would need to study the fossils I had found during this gruelling, but marvellous week. The first of many Møns Klint Fossil Excavations is a complete success.



Saturday 13th:


We go back to France. My fossil treasures hold in a small box, and I am constantly keeping an eye on it. Sometimes, I take one of the more sturdy fossils out of the box to admire it for a few minutes then put it back. I revel in the marvels of this week, the research and preparation of the fossils, the future of the paleontology of Møns Klint.

Goodbye Møns Klint. See you next year.

We arrive at Lille late in the night, after a long and tiring car drive.



Sunday 14th:


I wake up around 11:00 AM. The first thing I think is of course something similar to... "The fossils! Get down to studying and preparing them now!". Having rounded up breakfast, that's the first thing I do. I finish preparing the partial cidaroid spine that I found on Wednesday (the one that had been acid prepared). I open a "workshop" in my garden, where I start excavating the large boulder we took on Friday. Over the next days and weeks, from that boulder turn up several extra fossils, for instance another serpulid, ambulacral Cidaris plates and, best of all... an Isselicrinus buchii columnal of approximately 40 segments! I constantly study and research the wonderful fossils I found.


One word to sum up this MKFE Nº 1: SUCCESS!   



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That is a long and diverse faunal list for sure... puts my local Santonian site to shame (probably all of the Vancouver Island Cretaceous, at that)

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Various notes on the Echinoderm Quarry


  • Located at Freuchens Pynt; ~200 metres from main staircase
  • Opened in early August 2016
  • Chalk at EQ is fairly soft
  • Important due to fairly diverse range of disarticulated echinoderm remains
  • Main fossils recovered from EQ: Goniasterid abactinal ossicles; cidarid spines, phymosomatid spine, cidarid hemipyramid (element of oral apparatus), cidarid test fragment, and isocrinid columnals.
  • Along with the echinoderm remains, two serpulids and an Isocrania-like brachiopod have been recovered from EQ
  • Most important fossils from EQ: Cidarid hemipyramid, 40-segment long Isselicrinus buchii and large serpulid; these fossils are mainly important due to their rarity
  • Could potentially yield more echinoderm material in the future as only two small exposures of EQ have been excavated during MKFE N¤ 1


Edited by The Amateur Paleontologist

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MKFE News & Updates:



- 40-segment long Isselicrinus buchii belongs to a juvenile individual -> 4 mm in diametre; at MK, some individuals can reach 1 cm in diametre

- Microvertebrate fossil is referred to a synechodontiform elasmobranch tooth crown


New Acronym for MK project:

- MKFRP: Møns Klint Fossil Research Program; covers both MK field research and prospection, and MK academic research

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MKFE News & Updates:




-Hemipyramid is assigned to Tylocidaris baltica (Schlüter 1892)

-Presence of possible bone? is noted within the piece of chalk that also holds a Ditrupula-like serpulid

-In terms of fauna, the sites of Møns Klint and Jasmund Peninsula, island of Rügen (Germany) are very similar



"Good news":

-The Fossil Mediator of GeoCenter Møns Klint (GCMK) has accepted my donation of the 40-segment-long Isselicrinus buchii and the synechodontiform shark tooth; the fossils will be passed on to the GCMK in summer 2017

-As a "reward" for my donation, I have been granted a lifetime access card to the GCMK

-MKFE Nº 2 will possibly last 2 weeks instead of 1

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22 hours ago, The Amateur Paleontologist said:

"Good news":

-The Fossil Mediator of GeoCenter Møns Klint (GCMK) has accepted my donation of the 40-segment-long Isselicrinus buchii and the synechodontiform shark tooth; the fossils will be passed on to the GCMK in summer 2017

-As a "reward" for my donation, I have been granted a lifetime access card to the GCMK

-MKFE Nº 2 will possibly last 2 weeks instead of 1

:yay-smiley-1::dinothumb: Congratulations!!

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The Amateur Paleontologist

MKFE News and Updates




-Desalinisation process has been completed; from then on I will only hydrate the fossils occasionally

-Some of the cidarid spines have been entirely cleaned of chalk




-Cidarid spines are tentatively referred to Stereocidaris pistillum (Quenstedt 1852)

-Fossil record shows at least 3 cidarid genera were present at the Echinoderm Quarry 

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