Cephalopods at Airports


Jun 25, 2004
Hi everyone

Just back from a trip around Scandinavia. Noticed that at Stockholm Arlanda airport there are hundreds of orthocones showing in the polished stone floors in the terminal and in the foyer of the Sky City Hotel - some were over a foot long. Also at Liverpool Airport there are numerous ammonites and belemnites in the flooring - no idea as to the species. Preservation is fairly poor but the same stuff is used as the cladding of Marks and Spencers in Manchester City Centre. Anyone else seen any?

I've found them in Art Deco urban structures (hotels, bank buildings, old department stores) in NYC, LA, and Vancouver. Security guards always think you're crazy when they ask what you're doing examining the floors and walls and you tell them "fossil hunting" - until you point out the fossils. In LA along Wilshire in an old department store, the security guard then started to spot them himself.

I've been looking for these urban finds ever since a 1970s National Geographic World Magazine story about urban fossil hunting that told kids exactly what to look for and in what type of buildings.:ammonite: :nautiloi: :heteromor
The airport in Wellington used to have a live octo (probably P. cordiformis?) on display, at one end of a large tank that was divided into 3 sections - the other two had seahorses and 'crayfish' (NZ spiny lobster). They had an informational brochure on the octo for passersby to read. It was maintained by NIWA, the notorious former employer of our own SOS...
I did have the camera with me but only thought about getting a pic when it was too late - busy dashing about between flights. I'm in Liverpool again early on Friday morning so if I remember I'll try to get a snap of one of the ammos. Don't think I'll be at Stockholm for a while though - the beer was about £6.00 a glass!!!
There's a shopping centre in Croydon (?) that has polished limestone slabs set into the floor containing imprints of ammonoids. It's no secret as there is a plaque on the wall telling shoppers to look out for them!
Hey All
You should come to peterborough and visit the Queens Gate Center as it has no end of ammonites , belemnites and gastropods and other fossils in the floor and they look amazing. Plus anouther place is the Peterborough Cathedral. If you look in the walls you will see ammonites , gastropods , bivalves , echinoids ect. Its amazing. If you ever want a tour of these places then feel free to ask me.
Back from Holland! Did try to get some pics of the Liverpool cephs but it was too dark at 6am when I was checking in. Nightmare journey! We had a 2 hour delay going out after the guy sitting in front of me had a heart attack and had to be taken away in an ambulance then coming back tonight two blokes had to be thrown off the plane (sadly while it was still on the ground) after threatening to fight another passenger and when I got home I found my case has gone on an interesting solo journey on its own (I won't mention the airline - suffice to say their planes are orange!). Whats more the case is full of Dutch cheeses so Lord knows what it will be like when/if I finally get it back together with my clothes etc!. Anyway, what with all that I forgot to check for any suitable ammos this evening - maybe next time.


Oh what a nightmare! I'm sorry to hear that your holiday was ruined by a run of disasters. Have you ever read Three Men In a Boat, if not you've just got to. I'm sorry but I had to laugh about the cheeses, you'll be really popular with the courier company when they finally deliver it! I hope your shirts and trousers don't reek of Edam or Gorgonzola too badly.

I think Monty spotted the best collection of ancient cephs during a trip to San Francisco Airport earlier this year. You can see a link to his excellent pictures in this thread:

fossils and ammonite models in the San Francisco Airport

Good luck with your luggage!
Well, the case is back and the cheese is ok (just about). Hooray!!

Will have to read 3 men in a boat Phil although I could probably write my own with all the bad experiences I've had travelling. It's called the Curse of Neuropteris! Once organised the flights for a stag party in Munich. Got cheap flights for about 5 of us from Manchester but ended up stranded there for 7 hours 'cos the plane broke down. Was offered a free return trip to Germany as compensation. Arranged hotels for everyone in Aachen and a week before we were due to fly the airline went bust so had to cancel everything again. Don't get me going about trains either.......:mad: .

I remembered Monty's collection of models - very impressive!.

Not flying for a while now so will have to scout out any ammonites on the walls of Marks and Spencers instead - there are definately belemnites visible there.
Remind me not to travel anywhere with you Andy. I could never afford the insurance! :biggrin2:

Glad you have the cheeses back though.
Sponsor Banner
please support our sponsor
advertise on TONMO

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.