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viator

Fish/crab/lobster(?) at Speeton

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viator

I was wondering if anyone could help me ID what my father found on Tuesday in the Speeton clay (Reighton Gap), Yorkshire. It seems to be a jumbled mess of all sorts... scales, teeth, jaw/pincers, and at least one small vertebra. Ive only just started cleaning it up so theres probably lots more to uncover yet.


Not sure which bed it came from but my guess is it was from the upper half of the cliffs; the recent wet weather has caused much of the upper cliffs to sludge down to the bottom which is where it was found, lying on top. The block itself is around 12-13cm in length and is mostly being held together by hard clay.


At first, i got excited and thought it could be part of an ichthyosaur but after cleaning and closer inspection, it looks more to me like a fish, crab or lobster. I imagine its a bit too large to be a shrimp? I really hope someone can help identify what it is as my father has never found anything like this from Speeton before, in all his 55 years collecting from there!

 

Attached a few photos but i have more if required.

 

Thanks all!

 

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FossilDAWG

Excellent fish skull! :wub:

 

Don

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WhodamanHD

That's a cool find! :envy:

welcome to the forum from central Maryland!

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viator

Wow! Thank you all for your replies and especially to Fossildude19 for those incredibly informative images. I had never considered it could be a skull but having seen those pictures, it all makes sense now! :D My Dad is chuffed to bits and is already talking about our next trip!

 

Do you think its possible to identify what species of fish the skull is from? Ammonites and belemnites are normally my thing - this is way out of my league!

 

I know fish remains are fairly regularly found in the Speeton clay but does anyone know if skulls are equally common or quite rare? I cant find any information online relating fish skulls to Speeton.

 

How would this type of fossil normally be treated for preservation and do you think its necessary to do anything to this particular find? I obviously want to protect it as much as possible and dont want it to degrade in any way over time.

 

Thank you all again for your help and for the warm welcome to the forum :)

 

Gill

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Fossildude19

This is something that could use some professional preparation to expose more of the skull on the right side, and possibly some consolidation, depending on the fragility of the specimen.

This could probably be identified to species, if more was visible. (Perhaps even as is, from someone with more local knowledge of the fauna of the Speeton clay.)

@DE&i  @TqB @Taogan @t-tree @ntrusc @JohnBrewer  

Unfortunately, I just don't know enough about the area to say more, either to ID or to the rarity of such a find. I know that I'd be chuffed by such a great find! :) 

Kind regards, 

 

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Doctor Mud

Fantastic find!

Right place at the right time with a keen eye :fistbump:

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sixgill pete

Fantastic. What a great find, and a good eye to catch it. I may have missed this in the post, but what is the geologic age of the Speeton Clay?

OK, you said ammonites and belemnites, so Cretaceous I am guessing?

 

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sixgill pete

well with a little fast query on the internet, I learned the Speeton Clay is lower Cretaceous about 100 mya. It seems fish fragments are quite uncommon, so a skull like this is quite the find. 

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viator

Thanks all :)

 

Fossildude19 - Thanks for tagging in others who may know more. Its a fairly solid specimen which appears to be set in some sort of mudstone. Ive used some small preparation tools to remove some of the matrix and clean it up but the rest is proving tricky. As you say, it might be worth getting it professionally prepped.

 

sixgill pete - Thanks for your reply :) Yes, the Speeton clay is lower Cretaceous. Some interesting info here: https://ukfossils.co.uk/2010/03/18/speeton/

 

Gill

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JohnBrewer

Welcome to the forum!

 

give Bryron Blessed a call 01947 821363 He owns/runs a fossil shop in Whitby, Yorkshire. He is very knowledgeable and maybe able to help with ID and prep. 

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viator

Thanks, John. Ive just emailed him the photos. Fingers crossed a species can be identified! :)

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RJB

Very interesting find.  and yeah, could use a bit of prep.  good luck

 

RB

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t-tree

An interesting find i hope you get a species id,the matrix it's in looks similar to the matrix of the Speeton Shrimps i find ( i only found one this year).The recent rains are still bringing the sludge down!

 

John

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viator

Hi John - yeah, i imagine its very similar. The skull is in a type of mudstone. Ive never really looked for Speeton shrimps but ive seen many photos of the nodules - will have to have a look next time! Hoping to get back to Speeton again beginning of September - fingers crossed for a cliff fall by then!

 

I've contacted a few people about the skull, including Professor Peter Rawson who has spent many years studying the Speeton clay and is somewhat of an expert. He tells me he has never seen anything quite like it before! I also contacted Mike Horne from the Hull Geological Society and he hasn't seen anything like it either. Still waiting for a response from the Natural History Museum in London and im not confident im going to get an answer anytime soon. I'm dying to know more about it! :)

 

Gill

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t-tree

Hi Gill .....This is the small shrimp i found in the Speeton clay last week.

 

SAM_1172.thumb.JPG.3c79193c5e14e4dcde1b3a022e0d7fab.JPG

 

John

 

 

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viator

That's amazing!! Is that how you find them, exposed on the outer edge of the nodule? I've never known exactly where to look for them as the nodules don't seem to be confined to just one bed. Any advice on where's best to look? 

 

Gill

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t-tree

Yes though that one is not as detailed as some that you can find.Look in the area with the pale pink seam in the grey clay, they are always in the thinner nodules not the round ones and they do wash out like your find did. (warning take care not to get stuck in the mud)!

 

John

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