Fossil Hunters Diary….(to go in)
I had intended to write a blog every month but I seem to have missed a few. I seem to have been very busy and taken countless people out fossil hunting. The best find of the season was not a fossil but a wedgewood blue lobster shell. I found the shell while taking a group fossil hunting, to the east of Charmouth, under the towing black cliffs of Stonebarrow. I have never seen a light blue lobster and I doubt I will ever again.
The strandline on the beach often has expected treasures, mixed up in the normal flotsam of seaweed and in the debris,you can see the season passing. In Spring I can find numerous cuttlebones. It is the internal structure (shell) of a cuttlefish. The cuttlefish is a relative to the extinct Belemnite of which numerous bullet shaped fossils are found on the beaches at Charmouth and Lyme Regis. Later in the season, in high summer are the stranded remains of large jellyfish. They look alien in appearance a saggy blob of jelly on the beach but underwater the jellyfish is like a parasol of clear translucent life which pulses and swims through the water with a graceful, hypnotic beauty.
In January, the carcass of a bottle nose dolphin was washed on the beach at Charmouth. The heavily decomposed body had the look of an ichthyosaur, although they are not related. Both the ichthyosaur and dolphin have arrived at the same evolutionary design as a fast moving underwater predator.
In the last couple of weeks we have had a lot of rain and several stormy days. The cliffs are moving and the mudslides are starting to slowly slide onto the shoreline.
I would like to thank all those I have taken fossil hunting and your company has been a pleasure.
“Time, tide and fossilers wait for no man, and after each fall and crash of waves a new section potential fossils slide down onto the beach……hurry up before the next tide takes them away or the next storm smashes them to pieces!