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Isle of Wight, Hamstead


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I recently spent a week on the Isle of Wight, mostly to find fossils. To be honest, the fossils were pretty much a washout for me in many respects. My inexperience, combined with very mild weather and calm seas, meant that I didn't find the dinosaur bone I'd been hoping for. I made much better finds in the local book and charity shops! I did recover some huge pieces of lignite, which seemed to litter every beach I found. This even included some huge logs. I have successfully preserved lignite from other locations, but this stuff is quite pyritic.

 

However, I'm happy to say that I was quite fortunate when hunting in the Oligocene beds of Hamstead.

 

This beach is not easy to access - it's difficult to find a means down to the beach, and when you find it, you have to jump down a bank, walk over loads of broken glass, climb over fallen trees and crawl beneath others, and walk in worryingly sticky mud. However, it is worth it!

 

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I didn't find a huge amount, but I was fortunate enough to come across these two associated scutes from the alligator Diplocynodon (identified by the very helpful people at Dinosaur Isle).

 

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I also found about a dozen pieces of emys turtle shell, these are three of the best.

 

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This piece of bone was identified by a chap at Dinosaur Isle as most likely a piece of mammal skull.

 

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I didn't get an ID on this - any suggestions would be welcome. It's 1.5cm tall.

 

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This is also unidentified, and I'm not certain whether it's a fossil or not. It's 2.5cm long.

 

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Manticocerasman

Great finds, We went to IOW last summer. We have done most of the cretaceous deposits, but we didn't visit the beach with Oligoceene material. 

 

But next time we will surely give that beach a try.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Nice little report - I like the fossils you found :) I myself have yet to make a lil' field trip to the IOW coasts

-Christian

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Nice stuff... yeah, the walk to the Oligocene beds is a challenge.  I was there a few years ago.  I am not sure about the mammal skull piece.  Unlike the guy at the museum,I see nothing skullular about it.  I see more turtle.  Can you post a side view so we can see how thick it is, and if it has any 3D-itude? 

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Just now, jpc said:

Nice stuff... yeah, the walk to the Oligocene beds is a challenge.  I was there a few years ago.  I am not sure about the mammal skull piece.  Unlike the guy at the museum,I see nothing skullular about it.  

 

He said he thought it was likely from the back of the jaw, but that he couldn't be certain.

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OK, maybe.  At the risk of nit-picking, skull is skull, jaw is jaw.  Still, the internal texture looks more turtley.

 

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Neat little beach panorama and nice material. Thanks for showing.

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Paleoworld-101

That is one of my all time favourite hunting spots! Keep at it and you'll get a mammal jaw sooner or later :)

 

What tells you the Diplo scutes are associated? How were they found? 

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Hampstead is my favourite place. Getting there from Bouldnor end is not a good idea, I have tried it in the past but as there is more and more trees across the foreshore and as you say extremely sticky quick sand like mud, I consider it a no go. 

However, there is a small beach at Bouldnor which I think is overlooked. 

I have a simple way to get to Hamstead although, not sure about parking, Hamstead Drive and then via a footpath on the right, through woods, across open space, veer right, over a stile, down field into woods, turn left on cross paths and you come out onto beach, safe enough to take children, you can hunt left or right, search the shingle if your eyesight is good for teeth, certs etc or higher up for bigger pieces.

Sounds a long way but I timed it at 20mins from Silver Glades, which is where I have stayed in a caravan. Don't think I will get back there anytime soon.

Try following on satellite maps online. Difficult to explain on paper. Tip, Mark where you turn in the woods as on the return trip I did not turn and ended up outside someone's back gate.

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10 hours ago, Paleoworld-101 said:

That is one of my all time favourite hunting spots! Keep at it and you'll get a mammal jaw sooner or later :)

 

What tells you the Diplo scutes are associated? How were they found? 

 

They were found about two feet apart, and the guys at Dinosaur Isle said they thought they were either side-by-side in life, or perhaps with one scute between them. They do seem to fit together perfectly on one edge.

 

I'd love to go again, but unfortunately it's a long way for me to travel, so I'm not sure I'll ever get back there. If I do though, I'll go during winter or spring, because I think the tides were just too weak to wash very much out. I searched shingle, and I looked as closely as I could, and we walked for several miles and only found the bits above (plus half a dozen other turtle fragments).

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On 31/10/2018 at 9:56 PM, jpc said:

OK, maybe.  At the risk of nit-picking, skull is skull, jaw is jaw.  Still, the internal texture looks more turtley.

 

 

He said it was part of the skull which the jaw rests upon, or hinges against, or something. 

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Nice finds! I hope to go there one day and find something really special. I don't think I will find it but one can hope. Finding any Baryonyx material such as a tooth or other dinosaur material is going extremely challenging but one day I will discover something! I'm up for the challenge! :dinothumb::hammer01:

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Paleoworld-101
22 minutes ago, Jaimin013 said:

Nice finds! I hope to go there one day and find something really special. I don't think I will find it but one can hope. Finding any Baryonyx material such as a tooth or other dinosaur material is going extremely challenging but one day I will discover something! I'm up for the challenge! :dinothumb::hammer01:

Your chances are good on this coastline, i've never gone home empty handed!

 

For dinosaur stuff you want the southwest coast though, from Compton Bay down to Grange Chine.

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9 hours ago, Paleoworld-101 said:

Your chances are good on this coastline, i've never gone home empty handed!

 

For dinosaur stuff you want the southwest coast though, from Compton Bay down to Grange Chine.

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely have to take a trip to the Southwest coast soon!

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40 minutes ago, Jaimin013 said:

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely have to take a trip to the Southwest coast soon!

 

Make sure you go at the right time of year. I was there in October, and I think the tides were just too weak.

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Just now, Aurelius said:

 

Make sure you go at the right time of year. I was there in October, and I think the tides were just too weak.

When would you say the best time of the year is? During winter when the tides are stronger and more likely to expose the surface?

 

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44 minutes ago, Jaimin013 said:

When would you say the best time of the year is? During winter when the tides are stronger and more likely to expose the surface?

 

 

I was told winter or spring for strong tides. The water wasn't touching the clay slippages at Yaverland when I was there. 

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40 minutes ago, Aurelius said:

 

I was told winter or spring for strong tides. The water wasn't touching the clay slippages at Yaverland when I was there. 

Ok thanks for the advice and I will bear this in mind! 

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Hi guys, I have obtained a few UK teeth but unfortunately I didn't dig them and find them myself. Neovenator, Iguanodon, two larger in size Baryonyx teeth and two smaller Bayonyx teeth. Have you guys by any chance discovered a dinosaur tooth? I would be interested in seeing some in your collection if you do as I am interested in looking for a bigger baryonyx tooth that is nice quality. Hopefully one day I will dig myself and find a nice one!

 

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  • 2 months later...
Steven Haggerty

I live up the road from Hamstead (2 miles). There's 4 *main* ways to get to access. Some are a bit 'un-official'.

 

Re:Tides. 

You want a big spring tide, an onshore wind and a big swell. These can occur at any time of the year, big swells are usually 

during the winter months. I saw half of Chale bay scoured back to bare rock a few years ago.

 

We just had all of these this week.

 

Boldnor/Cranmore can get cut off on springs, you're ok on neaps.

 

Steve.

 

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