Tag: Mammals

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Keates Quarry

Two separate locations near Worth Matravers provide an opportunity to see where, 140mya, sauropod dinosaurs gathered at the shoreline of a shallow lagoon and to visit their incredible trackways. The nearby quarry provides bivalves, gastropods, fish remains, turtle bones and carapace fragments, mammal teeth and bones, and plant remains from this bygone environment. Cretaceous, Quarry (permission required) and Attraction, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Abbey Wood

Abbey Wood’s highly fossiliferous shell beds are open to the public for digging, with prior permission. The Eocene beds here are extremely rich in fossil sharks’ teeth, fish, mammal and bird remains, and fossil shells. Fossils are best found by onsite sieving, and is often visited by schools and society organised events. Eocene, Disused Pit, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Easton Bavents

Easton Bavents is the best location in the UK for finding Pliocene mammal remains and represents the only publically accessible site where mammal remains can be found in situ from the Norwich Crag. The location is of international importance, although fossils are limited to favourable tides. Today, fossils are uncommon, due to the thinning of the beds following many years of extensive erosion. Pliocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Wrabness

Along the Wrabness shoreline of the River Stour and after scouring tides or stormy seas, fossils are washed up from sediments from the Quaternary. These include bones of deer, horse and whale from the Red Crag, with turtles, shells, and shark and fish teeth within cement stones and pyrite concretions from the London Clay. Pliocene, Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Mundesley

Mundesley was once an important site for Cromer Forest Bed material, with a number of large vertebrate specimens being found from foreshore deposits. Today, the sea defence prevents this bed from being washed out, although the occasional bone can turn up. However, erratic fossils, mostly of flint echinoids and sponges, can be found. Pleistocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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East Mersea

East Mersea can be very popular in the summer, as it is a beautiful area, not far from Colchester. The foreshore is made up of London Clay, with a few sharks’ teeth to be found. This site is also well documented for OIS5 and OIS6 Pleistocene deposits, rich in (among other things) the teeth from small mammals and the shells of molluscs. Pleistocene, Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Corton

Ammonites, belemnites and reptile remains can all be found in the boulder clay, along with many erratic rocks full of shells. The foreshore sometimes yields fossil wood, seeds and bone from the Forest Bed during times of scouring. This used to be a highly productive site, but the sea defence limits scouring.Pleistocene, Erratics (Jurassic, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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East Runton

East Runton is the best location for mammal remains from the Pastonian Stage interglacial. It also is one of the only locations where you can see younger Pleistocene beds below huge chalk cliffs. The chalk was transported here during the ice age and is spectacular to see. Pleistocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Easton Wood

During favourable scouring conditions, Easton Wood exposes Norwich Crag shell beds along the foreshore. These are extremely rich in mammal remains and are the best preserved bones from any Norwich Crag site. Although highly productive, scouring only occurs every few years, although after gale force storms, mammal remains can often be washed ashore, lifted by the waves from the seafloor. Shell beds are also sometimes exposed in sporadic pockets along the cliff, but bones from these upper shell beds are rare. Pliocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Weybourne

The chalk at Weybourne yields echinoids and brachiopods, but resting on this is the Wroxham Crag. This yields mammal and fish remains, along with a wide variety of molluscs in the thick shell beds and crag sands. Pleistocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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West Runton

This is the location of the famous ‘West Runton Elephant’ find. From the West Runton Fresh Water Bed, mammal and fish remains are common, along with freshwater shells. On the foreshore, during scouring tides, the chalk yields echinoids and sponges. Pleistocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Pakefield

This is an excellent location where you can find almost anything, such as ammonites, shells, belemnites, reptiles (for example, ichthyosaurs), echinoids and more from the boulder clay; and mammalian and bird remains from the Forest Bed during scouring conditions. Pleistocene, Erratics (Jurassic, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Wangford Quarry

The disused part of Wangford Quarry has very thick Norwich Crag shell beds. These run for several meters and are packed with a vast number of various molluscs and small mammal remains. Below this, larger mammal bones have been found. Pliocene, Working Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Covehithe

Unlike the other nearby Norwich Crag locations, Covehithe does not yield mammal remains, although they can occasionally turn up, washed from the seabed or from nearby Easton Wood. What makes Covehithe interesting is a series of thick shell beds below beach level, where shells are exposed in life position, along with a black carbon layer containing fossil seeds. This is the only place where these can be found in the Pliocene Crags. Glacial flint fossils can also be collected. Erratics (Cretaceous), Pliocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦