It was a great day to be wandering along the beach, even if conditions weren’t optimal for fossil hunting. After two weeks of grey skies, the sun was greatly appreciated.
We headed for the cliffs called the Black Ven. You can see the layers of bedding really clearly – they are interlacing layers of limestone and shale from Jurassic times. It is also very unstable, and as you can see there have been landslides here for eons.
It was where Mary Anning found quite a few of her specimens. The species we found a lot of were ammonites – they were everywhere! They came in many forms:
Impressions of ammonites in the shale (a sedimentary rock). These were very fragile and aren’t worth keeping, but were pretty nevertheless.
Pyritised ammonites that have been fossilised into pyrite (ie. Fool’s gold). These can be kept!
More impressions of ammonites, this time in siltstone (also a sedimentary rock, with a grain size in between sandstone and shale).
There were also impression of leaves.
And we did find a dinosaur fossil – a limb bone from a marine reptile. It’s surrounded by fossil crinoids (a species we found a lot of in Australia).
Unfortunately, the slab that the fossil was in was big – there was no way we could have slipped it into our suitcase. But we did take back a few ammonites, which are now on display in Sydney.
We’d lost track of time (and so did Paddy, our guide), and when we looked at our watches, three hours had gone by. It was time to head back before the rising tide caught us. But before we leave the beach, and Lyme Regis, we took one last look at the Jurassic Coastline.