[Web-Page] Giant Chalk Ammonite Excavation


TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
TONMO member Roy has just added an interesting page to his website detailing the excavation of a giant chalk ammonite at Peacehaven at East Sussex. Follow the link here for great pictures.

The ammonite is Parapuzosia leptophlylla and closely resembles another example discovered at Margate last year and discussed in this thread.
Kev, Bev, Bev, Kev sorry Phil,
I would hope that English Nature in their ultimate wisdom who've managed to halt the construction of the Thetford southern by-pass for the benefit of some rare grass (splifftastic) will be equally effective to secure these normous ammonites for the benefit of non-soap watching, brain using Ukites, but English Nature are a government dept. & we know how they operate.
:roll: sorry Phil just remembered you're SBS.
for those who don't know the Special Boat Service, they will row you from Dover to Calais if you've missed your ferry. Their insignia is the "Blistered palms"

Phil, are these behemoths a recent discovery or have I not been paying attention ?

Kevin, I was destroying some garden furniture yesterevening & said to my good lady pass the BFH please & she did so without question. It is now a recognised noun in Norfolk & you should be proud.
The first thing I learned, after I graduated and got a job, was that anything I did wrong could be fixed with a good old BFH. Every engineer in the US has one in their tool box. Things might come out bent and dinged, but in the end they work. Just goes to show that youth and schooling is no match for old age and treachery :lol:

If they did try to save some of those giant ammonites, how would they get them up the cliff?
spartacus said:
:roll: sorry Phil just remembered you're SBS.

I always thought the 'B' stood for something else....

spartacus said:
Phil, are these behemoths a recent discovery or have I not been paying attention ?

Well...from my (rather too technical for me) second edition of 'Fossils of the Chalk' by The Palaeontological Association, it seems that Parapusozia leptophylla is not that uncommon. It is not a new discovery and was described by Sharpe in his 1853-1857 series of monographs entitled Description of the fossil remains of Mollusca found in the Chalk of England.

It is known from a Santonian date in Kent, i.e 87-85 million years old, but finds in other locations stretch this upwards into the Campanian. It is most common in Kent but is a widespread ammonite in the chalk stretching across southern England. For what it's worth this particular large ammonite is distinguished by its', and I quote:

Remarks: Major ribs numerous after initial nearly smooth stage with constrictions.

Description: Very large. Generally badly preserved, and compressed and smooth in appearance. Occasional well preserved specimens show strong primary ribs branching on the outer part of the sides.

This ammonite is grouped with the Desmocerataceae, family Desmoceratidae, Subfamily Puzosiinae, Genus: Parapusozia. Another closely related ammonite from the chalk is P. austiniceras.

As you say Kevin, I expect most of these are left on the beach because they are much heavier than they look. I have one (incomplete) chalk ammonite which weighs a ton, and that specimen is much smaller than these examples. It was found between St. Margarets Bay and Dover and unfortunately, is somewhat worn. I think it is an example of Acanthoceras (known from Dover), but, to be honest, I'm not sure.


Fossilised Boddie !

Greetings, Oh High Priest of the DRAGON ILLUYANKAS!

Keyholder of the "Brewery of Everlasting Drunkeness"
Organizer of the "Imperial God Killing Parties and allied debauchery"

Just a thought but is the Boddies bottle and accepted unit of Fossil measurement worldwide or is it a solely English thing. Obviously in the land of Hatti we used Hittite Brown Ale !
Yo guys,
Kevin, I hail from the world of oil & gas filtration where BFH is obligatory !
Our insignia is the "Shaky White Fingers" :biggrin2:
Us English are so gentile & we normally call a BFH a "persuader"

As for cliff scaling with mungous ammonite problem a number of solutions spring to mind most of which under scrutiny are just plain stupid but I'm sure the Kursk was a bit tricky as was the Mary Rose but both were saved from the briny. A chinook can lift more than it's own mass & failing that I've seen your picture Kevin & you look big enough to "yo-yo" one of these beasties :roflmao:
Failing that pressgang these asylum seekers into service, make 'em earn their 5 bedroom council houses, bit of exercise will do 'em good.

According to Mr. Sharpe seems I've still lots to learn, never heard of Peacehaven let alone the giant ammonites of Peacehaven, I feel like a right pleb amongst the intelligentsia :frown:

Moving on, Phil, would you like a flake with that ?
Met her in the Maldives by the way, she looks rough as 1st thing in the morning with no make-up on :sly:
& your display cabinet must be something seriously sturdy.

HC, I can't stand the stuff so I use a Ricard bottle or Sainsbury's fiery ginger beer.

J'adore le SFGB.

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