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Braved the cold today to have a long walk around Runswick Bay and beyond. Best find was this vertebra, found in a slab of ammonites. Needs a little more prep to get the shale off. Any idea if it’s Ichthyosaur or something else?

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Daughter found this Eliganticeras that didn’t take long to prep.

 

 

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A few other from the day;

Pleuroceras?  with belemnites

 

Harpoceras? on shale.
 

3 Part of a huge ammonite whose name escapes me.

 

4 Hard to see in the pic but this rock had a jumble of shells and other stuff that daughter was hoping was coprolite. I’ll try to get better pics when it’s dry.

 

5 Big slab of ammonites; are they harpoceras?
 

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pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon

Very nice finds! Looks like it certainly did pay off to brave the cold! :D

 

As to the vertebra, I'm finding it difficult to call it: the concavities on the vertebra are not so pronounced as to immediately associated them with the amphicoelous condition typical of ichthyosaur vertebrae. Instead, I find the overall outline of the vertebra slightly heart-shaped, which is a trait found in plesiosaurs. Thickness doesn't go one way or the other either, as the vertebra seems rather on the thick end for ichthyosaur, but not excessively so. I did notice part of the vertebra has been re-glued, though. So may be you could tell us based on the break whether the cross-section was hourglass-shaped or not (if so, this would point to ichthyosaur)? Another thing I've noticed is that the vertebral body is constricted along its length, a trait again more common in plesiosaurs, though not unseen in ichthyosaurs either - most notably (as far as my collection goes, at least) observed in those found at Whitby. Thus, I'd say there's equal evidence to go both ways. I'd say the greater likelihood is that it is an ichthyosaur vertebra, but I can't really rule out plesiosaur yet either. Information on the internal cross-section and further cleaning/preparation may resolve the issue.

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@pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon

 

Thank you for taking the time to have a look and pass on your knowledge. Having now removed quite a bit of the matrix I’m struggling to see the hourglass shape of an ichthyosaur vert. One side is slightly concave, but not to the extent that I had expected (albeit with some

matrix still to remove)

I have yet to remove any from the other side however as I’m finding it difficult to distinguish between fossil and matrix.

I hope these new pictures help somewhat.

 

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Ludwigia

I particularly like your daughter's Eleganticeras. Your large partial is from Phylloceras. And I think that the ones in big slab #5 are Eleganticeras and there even may be some Tiltoniceras in that plaster.

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The ammo is great. The vert looks weird, especially side view, like it has a cap of some kind. The frontal view is consistent with ichthyosaur

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pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon
3 hours ago, dhiggi said:

 

Having now removed quite a bit of the matrix I’m struggling to see the hourglass shape of an ichthyosaur vert. One side is slightly concave, [...]

I hope these new pictures help somewhat.

I'm afraid the new photographs don't add too much new information, though based on the concavity I can now say this is definitely an ichthyosaur vertebra, however one that's seen some plastic deformation (there's a small chance that the vertebra is pathological, but I think the offset in anterior and posterior surfaces of the centrum is more consistent with plastic deformation). Looks like a cervical, based on the position of the rib attachments...

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7 hours ago, pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon said:

I'm afraid the new photographs don't add too much new information, though based on the concavity I can now say this is definitely an ichthyosaur vertebra, however one that's seen some plastic deformation (there's a small chance that the vertebra is pathological, but I think the offset in anterior and posterior surfaces of the centrum is more consistent with plastic deformation). Looks like a cervical, based on the position of the rib attachments...

Thank you, given that the ammonites on the slab were flattened it’s easy to see how the vert could have been deformed. 

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GeschWhat

Love that your daughter was hoping for a coprolite. My kind of gal! :D

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Hello,

 

Don t think 1 is a Pleuroceras. Does not look like ironstone. Where did you find it? And can you make more pictures?

 

greetings Walter

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On 05/01/2021 at 5:38 AM, GeschWhat said:

Love that your daughter was hoping for a coprolite. My kind of gal! :D

She keeps asking me every night if I’ve had it identified yet, I think it might just be seabed debris but I didn’t want to dampen her massive enthusiasm. Here’s some better pics

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15 hours ago, badeend said:

Hello,

 

Don t think 1 is a Pleuroceras. Does not look like ironstone. Where did you find it? And can you make more pictures?

 

greetings Walter

It’s in quite soft shale so should prep out quite easily, assuming it’s whole. 
We found it at the southern end of Kettleness, and saw other similar ammonites nearby. 
I’ll see if I can get a better pic tonight but will probably make an attempt to free it from the matrix on Sunday, now that we’re unable to go collecting for the foreseeable 

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20 hours ago, badeend said:

Hello,

 

Don t think 1 is a Pleuroceras. Does not look like ironstone. Where did you find it? And can you make more pictures?

 

greetings Walter

Might need to use the airpen to get much further, but hopefully this helps;

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