21 Oct 2014

There goes the beach....

Sand beaches have summer and winter profiles. After a very calm early autumn, the gales came in and stripped about three feet of sand off the beach overnight:
Runswick winter profile © P. McGrath 2014
Scouring so much sand off the beach exposes what the youngest field assistant calls 'the interestings'; rocks and fossils that have been covered in sand all summer:

Interestings © P. McGrath 2014
Among the interestings was this belemnite guard and phragmacone (a dead squid's bum, the youngest field assistant was delighted to learn). It looks like some of the internal structures have been fossilized:


And next to it, a couple of belemnites and a heavily-eroded ammonite jumbled together in a ball of fossilized ick. It's probably a midden; a ball of icthyosaur vomit or poop. Ammonite shells would have been almost impossible to digest and were probably either excreted or vomited back by the Jurassic marine predators.



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