Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, 

 

So this summer, like most summers, my family went to my grandpa's holiday house in southern France. Seeing that we had many days with nothing planned, I managed to convince them to go fossil hunting one day. At first, I wanted to go to Lacoste, a place known for its echinoids and gorgeous white scallops, but it turns out these quarries are no longer accessible. So instead we went to Carniol, which was a little further away. After only a few hours in the car we arrived at the village of Carniol. "Village" would still be considered being generous: there are no more than a dozen or so houses! And most seem abandoned too... 

There are two clay exposures on either side of the village, on the side of the road. They aren't hard to find, because the gray clay really stands out from the grass and trees. Both exposures are pretty much exactly the same. We started off at the first one. 

 

 

 

IMG_9553.JPG

  • I found this Informative 5
  • Enjoyed 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Pyrite ammonites, especially those of the Aconoceras nisus species, litter the floor. At first, we wanted to pick them all up, but soon we only picked up the best ones because we realized that we wouldn't be able to carry them all :P  Belemnite rostra are also really common, and small gastropod ("Turritella") steinkerns are also regularly found. The fossils are all very easy to collect: all you need to do is to pluck them from the ground. Sometimes a little help from a small tool is welcome, but that's rarely the case. 

Here are some in-situ pictures:

 

IMG_9556.JPG

  • I found this Informative 3
  • Enjoyed 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Herb said:

cool looking site

The looks don't lie... It is a cool site!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The weather was beautiful, but not optimal for fossil-hunting, especially when you're out in the sun like this. Luckily in the morning, the heat was still bearable. 

IMG_9558.JPG

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

After having stayed at the first clay bank for a few hours, it was time for lunch. Seeing that there was virtually nothing in Carniol itself, we decided to go to the nearest real village, Simiane-la-Rotonde. There we had a fantastic lunch in a small but nice restaurant. The typical delicious cuisine of the French countryside was just the thing we needed to fuel some more energy for the upcoming few hours of fossil hunting! 

 

So we went to the second clay bank, on the other side of Carniol. 

 

IMG_9564.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

By now the temperature had risen considerably, and it was becoming much more tiring to hunt. We often sought the quick comfort of the shade under a tree to rest a little, which would also serve as our drinking breaks. 

 

IMG_9566.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love those gastropods and the site! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Link to post
Share on other sites

So after a total of around 6-7 hours of hunting, and very successful hunting, we left the clay banks of Carniol to go on our way back home. We stopped frequently to admire the incredible lavender fields of the region. 

 

Here was out total take for the day! 

The big rectangle of ammonites bottom left are, I believe, all the same species: Aconoceras nisus. We collected a stunning 295 ammonites of the same species on the same day, and could have taken many many more!!!

 

IMG_9762.jpg

  • I found this Informative 3
  • Enjoyed 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful report and pictures, Max!

I am jealous that you got to find all of those small ammonites. :) 

Thank you for letting us come along. ;) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

All the finds are from the "Gargasian" of the Aptian stage of the early Cretaceous, around 120 million years old. 

 

Here are some of the best finds of the day:

Some of the best Aconeceras ammonites:

IMG_0961.thumb.JPG.374ded8da77e5bbd26c414de0166243d.JPG

There's a really cool variety in them, because some are covered in pyrite crystals, others have a very shiny golden gleam, some just have the weirdest colors, and others still have fantastic sutures. There's also a great variety in sizes as you can see. 

 

We also found a bunch of other ammonite species. Most of them I still haven't IDd yet. I'll post them soon in the Fossil ID thread, but if you already see some that you recognize that would be great. 

More ammonites, which species I don't know. 

IMG_0969.thumb.JPG.bc9532d5c0e56f595ecb41e2eab8b933.JPG

  • I found this Informative 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some Dufrenoyia ammonites I believe. I see there are several different possible species (D. furcata, D. dufrenoyi, etc) and I don't know which are which with mine. 

The one with the big hole in the middle (unfortunately, many ammonites didn't have their center preserved...) is our biggest find of the day. 

 

IMG_0963.JPG

IMG_0964.JPG

  • I found this Informative 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorites: a small but gorgeous Cheloniceras cornuelianum 

The pictures don't capture it, but this one has a beautiful golden glimmer to it too. 

 

IMG_0966.JPG

IMG_0967.JPG

IMG_0968.JPG

IMG_0965.JPG

  • I found this Informative 3
  • Enjoyed 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...