First haul for 2006


Jun 25, 2004
Hello all and Happy New Year!

Christmas week in the UK was rather cold and snowy and the tide times weren't great either so despite having the week off I ended up confined to the house dreaming of cliff falls as the frigid Siberian easterlies battered against the coast. My first foray over to the seaside for this year took place on January 2nd and featured Port Mulgrave about 10 miles north of Whitby where the Grey Shales, Jet Rock and Alum Shales are exposed. Not a bad trip - mainly Dactylioceras tenuicostatum and possibly a Dac Clevelandicum (picture 2) which if it is will be a first for the collection but it might be a semicelatum - I can't really tell the difference between them based on available pictures - perhaps someone out there knows?

All the best



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Best wishes for the New Year to you as well !

D. clevelandicum seems to come in two forms : One very similar to D. semicelatum, only difference is that D. clevelandicum is more evolute, and a second, more easily recognizable form with tubercles on the inner whorls. If yours is a D. clevelandicum, then it is form 1.
HOWARTH's "The Stratigraphy and Ammonite Fauna of the Upper Liassic Grey Shales of the Yorkshire coast" is a good article for id'ing those Dacs, but I've looked very hard at the pictures of both D. clevelandicum (form 1) and semicleatum, may be one has to be able to compare them side by side in 3D to really see the difference...

Are you from the Whitby area? Maybe one day i should take the drive down for a coast foray??? About 3 and a half hours drive i think?
I've read the Howarth paper aswell Andy but am still none the wiser. I've had a guess at Clevelandicum more in hope than confidence as I've been told they can be found in the area this turned up in. I was lucky to find a clear patch of rock as there is plenty of weed about at the moment. Other than those, a couple more tenuis which need a bit of work to doing, a weathered Dac commune and a Peronoceras which will need some intensive prepping before I decide if its worth keeping, there was not a lot about (6 inch Lytoceras where are you???)

I always think the Winter is the best time for collecting on the coast - stormy weather to get things stirred up, frost and rain (plenty of the latter) to loosen those cliffs, although there are plenty of opportunities thoughout the rest of the year for nice finds as Andy can confirm:smile: .

Unfortunately I'm not from Whitby Colin, I'm from the Manchester area so its a 2 and half hour drive for me aswell. Monday had me up at 5am to try to get to the beach for 0830. If you're planning a trip down check out the tide times first - to get the best out of a day you need a low tide around lunchtime so you get 2-3 hours on either side depending on the location. You don't want to get there and watch the waves for the day although the local fish and chips are good aswell :wink:
Ah right, well let me know if you ever come up this neck of the woods for fossils. I stay about 10 mins from Lesmahagow which apparantly has the very old fish fossils etc. ever see this?

Yeah don't worry about tide times... I have became quite an expert at them with regards to going to beaches to collect shrimps and crabs for live cephalopods!!! LOL I promised to always check the tide times after I once spent about 4 hrs in the car just waiting for the tide to go out!
Hi Colin - I've read about Leshmagow. Isn't also famous for its Eurypterids? If you do ever head down Whitby way let me know and I'll show you some spots if I'm free.

At least you were in a car waiting for the tides. I once spent 5 hours sat in the wreck of a trawler during a thunderstorm in a deserted bay waiting for the tide to go out after it had come in a bit faster than expected!:sad:
Wow, great finds yet again there Andy. It must have been flipping freezing out there on the beach, full respect to you for braving the weather. Glad to see it was worth it.

I found a nice little page on Wikipedia about Dactylioceras if anyone is curious about this ammonite.
Hi Phil

The worst bit was the mud on the cliff path on the way down. There were times when gravity overcame friction entirely:smile:

Interesting that the Dac on the Wikipedia article came from Chesil beach as its a Whitby dac if ever I saw one. The Lias strata do crop out around Eype ( I think ) but its a very thin sequence called the junction bed which contains all the strata found on the Yorkshire coast in a thickness of just a few feet and the preservation is quite distinctive. I've never heard of Whitby nodules washing up around that part of the coast (quite a journey) so how did it get there? Dropped by a passing Whitby regular on his hols perhaps?

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