[New Article]: Fossil Hunting


Staff member
Site Owner
May 30, 2000
Sorry for my delay, but I'm very happy to announce a new Cephalopod Fossils article on TONMO.com, with brilliant photos. This is the first article contribution from Andy Tenny (neuropteris). Thanks Andy for sharing this with the community!


[URL2=[URL]http://www.tonmo.com/science/fossils/fossilhunting.php]Fossil[/URL] Hunting on the Yorkshire Coast[/URL2]
Great article Andy :notworth:

It would be nice to look for fossils in a place where they keep washing out of the rocks. Around here you find some and then sometimes wait for the next 100yr storm to wash more out.

You do a wonderful job of preparation on the nodules, they look fantastic, do you use an airscribe to clean them like that?
I agree. When I read stuff like I am aware of a dichotomy in my nature: Whilst I am impatient to know the answers to all of my questions, I am greatful that there is still much to discover. Thanks for posting this link. a.f.
Many, many thanks to Andy for writing this interesting article. It is really appreciated as these articles do take quite some time to write and compile and quite a lot of work is involved. If anyone would like to write a similar report about their local fossil beds (as long as they contain ammonites or other cephalopod fossils) please be our guest! Contributions are most welcome.

It is fascinating to see the variation in cephalopod fossils and the differences in location and age at the different sites Kevin, Andy, Spartacus, and many other contributors have shown us over the last couple of years. Ammonites in particular display so many subtle variations on a theme, and looking at Andy’s two stunning examples at the end of the article it’s interesting to note how similar they look to some of the much later Folkestone examples. This is despite Andy’s dating to over 80 million years earlier, and belonging to different families. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be the pattern in basic coiled true ammonite design with similar recurring forms throughout their history.

The last two images were a nice surprise, thanks Andy! I’m not sure of the species exactly but they are cracking examples of basic ammonitic shell forms, i.e the loosely coiled evolute and tightly coiled involute forms. The top example is an evolute ammonite, whereby the early whorls are barely overlapped by later growth, whilst the later example is a near-involute ammonite where the shell whorls almost completely overlap the earlier growth rendering them nearly invisible, much akin the modern Nautilus which is completely involute.

Thanks again, Andy. Please let us know more details about your prepped ammonites!

:ammonite: :thumbsup:
Hello all

Glad you liked it - thought the trip was going to be a washout for finds as on my way along the beach I found nothing. Got all those walking back over ground I'd already covered. Just goes to show how easy it is to miss things!

The top ammonite is a Porpoceras vorticellum (I'm not 100% sure on the species - there's also a Porpoceras vortex but checking on the 'Type and figured specimens in Whitby and Scarborough museums' website it looks more like a vorticellum (my first!)). The lower one is a Pseudolioceras lythense. the Porp is about 5cm across and the Pseudo about 4cm.

Prepping is done with a ST air pen from Ken Mannion and a 'Supa Tool' grinding kit but I can't claim all the glory for myself - my mate John Pratt finished them off as he's got a better set up (and more skill) then me. Thanks John (have a look at his Distiloceras on the Fossils of the Speeton clay website!). Prepping of the Yorkshire coast stuff can be tricky - if the nodules pop the results can be stunning - I'll try to put a pic of a recent popper on later - but if they don't it can take hours of work with an air pen to take off the matrix. If the nodule is pyritic they can get very sticky particularly in the middle. The two examples here proved to be fairly easy - The Pseudo popped nicely and revealed the suture lines so all it took was a little pen work to tidy it up. The Porp had to be dug out with the pen but wasn't very sticky.

On my wish list for this year is a HD pen from Ken and an air blaster.

All the best

Great article, and wonderful pics...(pardon the pun)...very, very interesting ! Thanks!

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