A day spent fossil hunting - and a success!

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They look well cool Phil :smile:

Intrestin in what you say about drawing out the salts. Do you put them through a series of soakings or do you just drop them in some water and leave them for a few days?

In answer to your question, I dont know the area too well, Ive mates from there and went to visit Hythe and Cambersands for the weekend last year. Had a crackin time!!
 

Phil

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Hi Scouse,

The trouble with the fossils that are preserved in clay is that many of them are preserved in iron pyrites that is inherently instable when exposed to air. Prolonged exposure to oxygen without some form of protection from lacquer or varnish will lead to a creeping decay and slow disintegration. One can’t just wash them and leave them unfortunately. I tend to leave any fossils to soak for a week or so in fresh water which should be enough time to remove the salts which also accelerate decay. One can usually tell when this is happening, as tiny bubbles tend to form on the surface of the fossils, after a few days this ceases. Then I leave them to dry, varnish them with a Humbrol modelling Satin varnish and mount them in display boxes, with a label. This keeps the fossil in a sealed environment and prevents it from being knocked about and damaged. (If has an alternative method of preservation of such pyrites fossils I would like to hear from you). Not all the material from Folkestone is preserved in this way; I think the material from the earlier Lower Greensand can be left untreated.

I went back over yesterday and here’s a photo of my haul soaking. I’ll print a few better pictures in a few days if anyone wants to see them. In the old ice cream tub we have the usual ammonites Anahoplites planus, Hysteroceras orbignyi, Euhoplites ihavenotdecidedyet, a gastropod, Gyrodes and a bivalve, Birostrina. The large spiky ammonite on the top right is Euhoplites armatus, a first for me. You can tell that some of these specimens have a high iron pyrites content from the browny-reddish-yellow colour, in short the fossil is rusty!

Folkestone230304finds.JPG
 

Architeuthoceras

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Looks like you had a great day collecting fossils again Phil 8)

I sometimes use VINAC (Vinyl Acetate) to coat fossils, it comes in small beads that you soak in acetone, You can mix it to whatever strength you want. Not many of the fossils around here are pyritized, so I havent had to worry about that much, so I cant help you there.
 
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spot on!!! nice on Phil, really intrestin!!! somebody said to me the other day they fancied goin fossil huntin, bizarre!!! So were off on one at some point, will record any finds!!!

My mate has an amazin Nautilus shall with mother of pearl still on it on his shelf, think his mum got it from a Thailand market or somewhere recently will post a pic when i get chance!!!
 

Phil

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That's great Scouse. Look forward to seeing your Nautilus and (hopefully) some finds. If you would like some ideas on where to go in the UK, this is a fantastic website:

http://www.discoveringfossils.co.uk/

By the way, not all the cephalopods at Folkestone are of the extinct rocky variety. Have a guess what this is! (clue)= :cuttle:

Cuttlebone230304.JPG
 
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Nice one Phil!!! Will have a gander at that an let you know how we get on!!

I dodnt have the foggiest until i spotted the name of the pic....a Cuttle bone ha haa!!! Me old budgy would have gone nuts for it!!! :lol: :biggrin2:
 

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