Fossil hunting in the rain

On Saturday I took my sister (she of the amazing ammonite quilt) to do a little fossil hunting. Now as safety comes first we didn’t head to our favourite spot of Seatown in Dorset, but to Charmouth, which has much better access, even after the recent stormy weather. We also timed our visit so that we would be heading out at low tide, which on Saturday was at about 2pm.

Ideal!!

But did that stop us? Not on your nelly - remember, there is no bad weather - only bad clothing!

But did that stop us? Not on your nelly – remember, there is no bad weather – only bad clothing!

Low tide at Charmouth

Low tide at Charmouth

Our first fossil spot is a small ammonite (super over exposed!)

Our first fossil spot is a small ammonite (super over exposed!)

When the tide is this low you can see where the Piddock shells bore into the rock.

When the tide is this low you can see where the Piddock shells bore into the rock.

And these ammonites are ussually underwater!

And these ammonites are ussually underwater!

The day wasn't without the rain...

The day wasn’t without the rain…

But there was sunshine too!

But there was sunshine too!

And a nice man even gave us a fossil.

And a nice man even gave us a fossil.

We managed to do a fair bit of collecting – mostly ammonites and belemnite fragments (I love belemnites!), but unfortunately no 5ft long ichthyosaur fossils. Grrr.

When I got home it was time to clean and properly catalougue what we had found..

When I got home it was time to clean and properly catalougue what we had found..

There were ammonites...

There were ammonites…

Some were encrusted with so much pyrite (fool's gold) you could barely see what it used to be!

Some were encrusted with so much pyrite (fool’s gold) you could barely see what it used to be!

Others like this Liparoceras ammonite were easity identified.

Others like this Liparoceras ammonite were easity identified.

If a bit squished!

If a bit squished!

Could this be coprolite?!

Could this be coprolite?!

Nah, this is some more pyrite - really weathered though.

Nah, this is some more pyrite – really weathered though.

This looks like it could be something...

This looks like it could be something…

So long as that something is plastic!!

So long as that something is plastic!!

There were some beautifully cubic pyrite crystals...

There were some beautifully cubic pyrite crystals…

Although I love finding fossils, after my time as the Identification Officer for Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London I also like to try and spot the stuff that looks like it should be something, but isn’t – the pseudofossils. Hence the fake coprolite and fake ichthyosaur bone fragment!

But does anyone know why the pyrite has grown like this? They look like mushrooms!

But does anyone know why the pyrite has grown like this? They look like mushrooms!

I was stumped by why this pyrite had grown like this – there was loads of it! Does anyone know why this pyrite grows like mushrooms?!?

By the end of the day we were tired, muddy and a bit rained on, but very very happy!

Thanks Charmouth, you were awesome!

All in all, a very satifying day!!

All in all, a very satifying day!!

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One thought on “Fossil hunting in the rain

  1. Pingback: 5 films you didn’t know are about geology. | My Patchwork Planet

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