21 Nov 2007

Jurassic marine fossils...

Ammonites (pretty well flattened during fossilisation) in the hard shale on the beach below Runswick Bay village. It occurs to me that they could be one metre or four centimetres across. It was the latter. I'll carry a ruler with me in future.
A belemnites' graveyard in the alum shale which makes up Kettleness. Both ammonites and belemnites were thought to have a tentacled squid-like head which emerged from the shell - there are some belemnite fossils on Runswick beach with what looks like the soft inner parts of the animal squeezed out (a banded section which protrudes from the open end) and fossilised. I'm off on a fossiling expedition to find and photograph, when the weather is less nasty. A-ha. A google around and (of course) there is a belemnite fan page with a cut-away of a belemnite and it looks like the banded squished out bit is the phragmocone ('very rare in the fossil record' - well I found 'em!), which is my word of the month.

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