Tag: Microfossils

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Steeple Bay

Steeple Bay is very similar to Maylandsea. It is very productive for lobster fragments, which are found in small yellow nodules, and for crabs. There are several species of lobster that can be collected here and it is also rich in microfossils. All fossils are washed out of the London Clay from the low cliffs and foreshore. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Taddiford Gap

Taddiford Gap is a classic site and well documented for mammal and crocodile remains. Shark and other fish remains, along with a wide range of microfossils, can also be found. The latter can be found by sieving from the Crocodile and Mammal Beds. There is also a black bed of sediments containing a huge variety of fossils seeds. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Milford on Sea

Milford on Sea provides an excellent opportunity to collect a wide range of fossil seeds from the Headon Hill Formation. These are in very good condition, but you will need to take samples home for processing using a sieve. Ironstones can also be found containing bivalves and gastropods. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Lepe

During scouring conditions, The famous ‘elephant bed’ is exposed at Stansore point, yielding various mammal remains. To the western end of the car park, fossils can be found in the many blocks both along the footpath to the cliffs and the foreshore. At the western end, foreshore Eocene clays yield microfossils. Pleistocene, Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head is at the most easterly end of Dorset and is a popular area for hikers. The cliffs are tall, but surrounded by water, with Christchurch Harbour just 400m round the corner to the east. These are Barton Age and are rich in fossil seeds. Therefore, this is an ideal location for the microfossil collector. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Seatown

During scouring tides, Seatown turns into an ‘ammonite kingdom’. They can simply be picked up along the foreshore and, therefore, the location is ideal for children. There is also a superb pub with views of Golden Cap. Fossils can be found all year round, as can microfossils and minerals. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Poxwell Quarries

Poxwell Quarries are a couple of old, very overgrown quarries, but a small outcrop in the second quarry still reveals the productive Purbeck beds that contain well-documented insect remains. You can also find fishes, ostracods and small shells. However, you will need a microscope for viewing your finds. Jurassic, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Watton Cliff

Watton Cliff, part of West Cliff at West Bay and is an excellent location for collecting microfossils. While the site is also very rich in other fossils (such as brachiopods, crinoids, fish, sharks’ teeth, crocodiles, amphibians and plants), this guide concentrates more on the microfossils, including small mammals, fish, reptiles and ostracods, which are well preserved and abundant. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Durlston Bay

If you are interested in microfossils, tiny mammal remains, turtle shell fragments, crocodile skin fragments and fish remains, Durlston Bay is ideal. It is also a good location to take samples for wet sieving. Don’t forget your field lens when visiting. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Flodigarry

Flodigarry is a very picturesque beach, with amazing views and Oxfordian sediments, containing good pyrite and calcite fossils. The wild seas can add drama to this location, and the wildlife is second to none. This is a great place to spend a day with a picnic and a look for fossils on the low tide. Jurassic, 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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Pendower Beach

The Devonian rocks at Pendower Beach contain shell impressions, but are poorly preserved and trilobites are extremely rare. However, as with all Cornish fossil locations, this site is mainly for fossil enthusiasts and geologists who are not expecting lots of finds, but who can appreciate an interesting location. Devonian, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦