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Matthew Myerscough
Hi all,

Few finds from last week.  The first vert in matrix found at Lavernock point.  The others at Penarth.  Think the third vert might be a chunk of plesiosaur.

Fourth find probably just a lump of rock - it has some unusual parallel indentations though.

Can anyone offer any advice on where to look for fossils in-situ at Lavernock? 

So far all my finds are just from the shingle and I'd like to learn where to look to find fossils in the shale that I've been reading about (appreciate that they are rare!).

I think on a low tide I found the shale beds last year, see pics at the end, is this the rock where fossils have been found before (when not covered in weed and mud)?

Many thanks

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pauledevans
These look amazing! I’m not a knowledge when it comes to these so I’ll let other weigh in. But as someone who spent a huge amount of time this weekend at Charmouth, scouring the shingle for verts, and didn’t find a single one, I’m admiring of your eye 😆
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Matthew Myerscough
Ha thanks! Looks like you had some interesting finds from your trip though, especially the plesiosaur/ichthyosaur bone
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Rhaetianpenarth207
Verts are likely ichthyosaur, could we have more photos of the mystery item please. Could we also have a labelled version of the photos as the order is a little confusing. Thanks. Some great finds!
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s.c.
The last rock looks like coprolite.  Does it have any black, shiny inclusions (these will be bone fragments).  The matrix in the first pic with the vert is worth close examination for small teeth and scales too. Concerning the shale beds, the site is SSSI so you can'rt remove anything in situ on the foreshore or in the cliffs, just from loose rocks and boulders.
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Dirty Pete
Hi Matthew, that first pic looks like typical Rhaetic bone bed (conglomeratic version) of which I think I think there is more than one horizon in that area. If you haven't already got it you might consider getting a copy of 'Walking the Rocks' which contains a reasonably detailed geological description of the area in question.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-Rocks-Howe/dp/0903222019

Pete
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Rhaetianpenarth207
If you find a scientifically valuable specimen, then you can receive permission to excavate in situ specimens. I think that cliff falls will bring down the shale beds.
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Matthew Myerscough
Thanks all for the replies. I'll try and post some better pictures of the last specimen at some point. Will have a look at that book, looks good. Yes the matrix surrounding the first fossil does have some tiny scales in it I think (shaped like a bowl?). Thanks for the reminder about the SSSI, was just interested because I thought that articulated/more complete fossils had been found at Lavernock, but of course these are probably found in boulders from cliff falls and stuff like that
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Rhaetianpenarth207
Thanks all for the replies. I'll try and post some better pictures of the last specimen at some point. Will have a look at that book, looks good. Yes the matrix surrounding the first fossil does have some tiny scales in it I think (shaped like a bowl?). Thanks for the reminder about the SSSI, was just interested because I thought that articulated/more complete fossils had been found at Lavernock, but of course these are probably found in boulders from cliff falls and stuff like that


Sometimes pieces of shale fall down from the cliff so not always boulders, and many collectors, if they found a piece of a skeleton will go back to that same area until more of the specimen is found. They will then piece it together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Most of the vertebrate specimens on the opposite Somerset coast have been found in fallen pieces of shale. The dinosaur dracoraptor hanigani was found at lavernock and if you search it up it’s pretty complete and extremely rare.
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Matthew Myerscough
Spent about 5 hrs at Lavernock today and didn't find a single bone! 5 fishing weights and a live conger eel though (went back in the sea)!

If I can get an afternoon off work this week (Wednesday?) I'm thinking of going back to Lavernock for the very low tide.

Would anyone be interested in joining me/or is planning to go?

I'm after a few hints and tips on where to find these shale ledges/loose blocks of shale which seemed to produce many excellent marine reptile bones in the past (not disturbing anything in-situ due to SSSI).

Thanks all

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Rhaetianpenarth207
You could try and ask the member Welsh Wizard as he has some amazing finds from the Welsh coastline. Also search up the Lavernock dinosaur dracoraptor in both this forum and the Fossil Forum and you should get some pics of the type of rock it was found in. I’ve had those days were I’ve found nothing myself. I once found a flatfish on Charmouth beach 🤣! Shame I can’t meet up as Somerset’s a bit far and I’m rubbish at finding bone at anywhere else than Aust. Hope this helps

,Al
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Matthew Myerscough
Ah yes sorry I forgot to say I looked up that dinosaur, absolutely amazing find!! Thanks for the info.
It's kinda funny if I go fishing I can't catch fish. If I go fossil hunting I find the fish I've been trying to catch, but can't find any fossils! Maybe next time I'll find the fossils when I'm fishing.
I'll let you know next time I'm taking a trip to Somerset.
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Rhaetianpenarth207
Haha thanks! Last time I went to Lilstock beach, I returned with a flat shale ammonite.
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fossiladdict
Hi Matthew, thought id put my bit in for what its worth....3rd vert pic 6 and 7 looks like a paddle bone although worn a little maybe relatively whole.that's my opinion

with regards to sssi status i cant find any info when certain beaches gained the said law( maybe someone does?),ie  articulated finds have been extracted ever since man figured out what he was looking at right up to being made aware it is indeed sssi and going about it via the appropriate manner as one should nowadays.lots of finds are claimed to have been in a loose block or slab which is luck shining on you! lots of locations vary to exposures of desired layers in most cases can be under your feet on beach level and arcing up into a cliff face so potential everywhere. once you workout the geology you can target given areas but my advice is to keep an open mind and your eagle eye will reward you eventually!
local knowledge helps but not readily available this is a competitive and lucrative hobby and naturally so to a certain degree especially if you are trying to continue to find missing parts which was mentioned in an above comment. i wish you well with your quest and good luck ..(luck shining on you)

Regards Richard.  

  
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