Thursday, 24 April 2014

Peacehaven beach

Last week I went to the south coast for a few days and on a particularly fine day I went fossil hunting on Peacehaven beach. I'd heard there were fossil ammonites up to a metre in diameter on the beach. The beach itself is protected I think, so rocks can't be removed, although someone would do well to walk off with a piece of rock a metre in diameter!
There were a couple of giant ammonites (Parapuzosia species) that I saw (the modern relatives of ammonites beong nautili). It was quite easy to spot the fossils, I just walked along the tide line and looked for the shape of snail shells. The fossils were all in the chalk and were between 0.5 and 1m in diameter.
It was a lovely morning – bright and sunny with a breeze. As well as the fossils there were limpets and marks on the rocks where limpets had been attached to the rock, clinging on and waiting for high tide so they could feed. There were also a large number of sea gulls – mainly Herring gulls – sat on the rocks just out of reach of the waves or soaring on the breeze. I had a great time scrambling around amongst the rocks and will have to get round to visiting some of the other south coast beaches to see if I can find any more fossils!

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