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Cog
We found this on the beach In Dorset...sadly broken I’m half already when we found it. I know ammonites are very common but it’s very big and has some interesting patterns one one side which hopefully are evident in the later photos - I was wondering if they might possibly be plants? We’re very new to fossils and just want to check what we might have found (particularly the patterns) - we didn’t want to do anything to it in case we damaged it!  Many thanks in advance.9052B44D-DBD9-4B1A-A832-2CAB0A6B0D60.jpeg  D1A1B8D9-A03B-41DC-954D-F7729D6B1512.jpeg  9A0D0F5E-BF12-43C1-A7D7-30DA13490592.jpeg  438248F2-D82A-405F-8E99-99BE995F9173.jpeg  3ED7D9D1-6B9C-4356-96FA-481F66136F70.jpeg  55DCA46F-88E3-43F4-BAC4-44E0777073FB.jpeg  6ED31473-6512-4896-A773-A18089DE25D7.jpeg  2ED602ED-6D56-4618-9934-0B9C2CE89A7F.jpeg
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Alex47
Hi - nice find. In your second photo there is a worm tube - the animal secretes the chalky tube and lives in it - it sticks its tentacles out of the opening to filter feed. They are common today on sea shells etc. In the last couple of photographs you have lovely clear images of the sutures of the ammonite shell. These help bind the outer part of the shell to the inner. They have an interdigitating surface - they look a bit like fingers clasped together. The reason, I think, is to increase the surface area in contact with the next bit of shell. This means that the bond between neighbouring bits of shell is very close and firm. I guess its an adaptation to life in the ocean to help the shell stay firmly together.
Best wishes Alex
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Cog
Thanks so much Alex, much appreciated!  It was the sutures in particular which had confused me...have now spent a bit of time googling them In light of your comments and am slightly more informed. It seems I’ve got a lot of reading to do!!
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nomadiclifeguide
Your find can quite easily be fixed with something as simple as superglue. 
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Barrow Museum
Dorset has a long coastline.  Could you please indicate which beach as this might help with the identification of the ammonite itself.  In the hands of an expert preparator, I think this might clean up to be very presentable indeed.
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Cog

Hi @Barrow Museum it was between Burton Bradstock and West Bay, on a patch where some of the cliff had slipped down into the beach. 

We were actually thinking of trying to get it cleaned up and fixed professionally - I appreciate we could try gluing it ourselves but would I can see it going horribly wrong!  Does anyone have any recommendations or is there another thread on this I’ve missed?  Many thanks!

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Barrow Museum
It looks like Parkinsonia, which occurs in the thin, condensed Inferior Oolite (Bajocian Stage of the Jurassic) at the top of Burton Cliff.
If I were you, all I'd do right now is soak it in a few changes of fresh water to clean away any salt before drying, prior to glueing the parts together.  Try to avoid adhesive where you want the rock to break away when it is being prepared.  These ammonites tend to clean up well and I have seen a few recommendations of professional preparators on these pages.  A diligent search should reveal some.  If you want to go this route, then I'd advise leaving all the reconstruction work to the preparator who will use museum-grade adhesives.
Other correspondents here may well give better advice, with offers of actual experts in the preparation field who could do this job for you.
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Cog
Thanks very much, great to know what it (probably) is!  Much appreciated.  Will have a bit of a search for preparator recommendations.  
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estwing
I agree with Barrow Museum, looks like Parkinsonia
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Cog
Thanks estwing!  In fact thanks again to everyone who’s bothered to reply to a complete fossil novice.  It’s really exciting to know what we have (probably) found and reassuring that we haven’t done anything terrible with it - I spent a bit of time googling fossil websites earlier on and ended up slightly more confused than when I started - this forum is a great help.
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