21 Feb 2018

Jurassic plant leaf counterpart: more to come tomorrow.

So here you have the counterpart (the fossilized impression) of a single leaf from a plant that died somewhere between 174-163 million years ago. The plant (I have yet to identify it) grew on a sandy river delta and at some point shed a leaf which was entombed in sand and fossilized.  160-odd million years later an impression of that leaf ended up in a large block of sandstone on Runswick beach.

Runswick Bay is a rich site for rare fossilized Jurassic plants; so rare that in the 1980s the Natural History Museum was prepared to send an academic (Dr. C. R. Hill) and two labourers up here to take fossil cycads from Runswick Bay's cliffs without the landowner's consent. When recently asked to return the stolen fossils to the landowner so that they could be instead exhibited in Whitby Museum the Natural History Museum refused, stating (among other nonsense) that fossils aren't fossils they're actually minerals.

We spent an hour searching the beach for this because today we met a young man (if there is an award for young palaeontologist of the year he should win it) with a remarkable find. More of which tomorrow.

No comments: