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Christmas Meeting at Tinwell Village Hall

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Dear Members,

On Wednesday the 11th of December 2019 at 7.30pm it will be the societies Christmas Meeting at Tinwell Village Hall. There will be film and photos from the archives so please bring along fossil finds/ photos of events/ and interesting DVD’s.

THERE WILL BE FOOD (Not just food but M&S food!)

As this will probably be our last Christmas gathering at Tinwell it would be nice to see as many members as possible.

To allow for catering please let Chairman Sandy Ellis know if you are coming by the 2nd of December 2019.

Best Wishes,


Pycnodont fish teeth from Ketton Quarry

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Below and above with scale is a fine example of what I believe to be a partial jaw from an extinct species of pycnodont fish called Eomesodon cf. trigonus or Gyrodus sp found by one of our members on a recent trip to Ketton Quarry.
Our members have found single teeth from this fish from previous visits to Ketton Quarry, but this find is a first for the society as far as I’m aware.

Possible partial jaw of Gyrodus sp. or Eomesodon cf. trigonus above

Below are some comparison examples which are also from the Bathonian stage (Jaws of Gyrodus sp. and Eomesodon cf. trigonus).

Top: Prearticular (splenial) of Gyrodus cuvieri (Natural History Museum, London).
Bottom: Prearticular (splenial) of Eomesodon cf. trigonus (Department of Geology, University of Leicester).

The specimen is now in the hands of society member Richard Forrest going through a rather tricky prepping process.

Fossil to be found around the coasts of the Isle of Wight

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In support of the forthcoming 67th Symposium of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy and the 28th meeting of the Symposium of Palaeontological Preparation and Conservation.

To be held on the Isle of Wight from the 10th to the 14th of September 2019.

So Id thought you would like to see a small array of fossils from my collection collected from around the Isle of Wight. With contributions kindly given as to their I.D.S from Jack Wonfor and Theo Vickers from the very informative @WightCoastFossils.

It’s great to know that there are people out there willing to give some of their time up to help understand the fossil fauna around the Isle of Wight.

It is valuable (research) information that is freely given out and makes fossil collecting a lot more worthwhile when trying to understand what you have found and holding in your hand.

And perhaps something that hasn’t been seen or handled a very long time indeed!

The “quoted” descriptions for the fossil photos will be from members of the @WightCoastFossil to the best of their abilities.

If you can take any of the information provided here with you, and proves useful next time you visit the Isle of Wight….then that would be an achievement in itself.

Your truly DW 🙂

“This fossil photographed at different angles below appears more likely to be a fragment of fish bone as opposed to turtle based on the ‘flaky’ texture and the preservation of the specimen. It’s most probably a bowfin (amiid) as they are the most common large fish found at the site.”  

Possible bowfin (amiid)
Possible bowfin (amiid)
Possible bowfin (amiid)
Possible bowfin (amiid)
Possible bowfin (amiid)

I really like the sturdiness of the Bothriodon sp tooth (pictures below) when held in the hand from the Isle of Wight, Lower Hamstead Beds in Bouldnor, and wanted to know are these indents possible wear facets (indicated by the blue arrow). But before I can really ask that question with confidence, I thought it would be best to ask Theo Vickers from @White Coast Fossils first which end of the tooth the root and which end of the tooth the tip is.

I’ve quoted Theo’s very informative reply below:

“The tip is where you have the small area of enamel, as visible in the third image down. The area you have highlighted would be at the very base of the root so would be unlikely to be a wear facet. Many vertebrate specimens from the upper Hamstead Member exhibit a fair degree of wear and abrasion from pre-depositional transport on the coastal plain and also have signs of mollusc boring, which may account for the marks you’re seeing on the root.” 

Bothriodon sp tooth
Bothriodon sp tooth
Bothriodon sp tooth showing enamel at the tip
Bothriodon sp tooth showing the root

Various photos of another Bouldnor fossil find below that I found from the Hamstead Beds and described as…

“A relatively uncommon partial mandible of a large amiid (bowfin).”

partial mandible of a large amiid (bowfin).
partial mandible of a large amiid (bowfin).
partial mandible of a large amiid (bowfin).
partial mandible of a large amiid (bowfin).
partial mandible of a large amiid (bowfin).

….And a smaller partial amiid (bowfin) jaw (photos below) which tend to be very common.

small partial amiid (bowfin) jaw
small partial amiid (bowfin) jaw
small partial amiid (bowfin) jaw
small partial amiid (bowfin) jaw
small partial amiid (bowfin) jaw
small partial amiid (bowfin) jaw

Who would have believed it, Dinosaur remains from Peterborough!

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Four isolated sauropod axial elements from the Oxford Clay Formation (Callovian, Middle Jurassic) of Peterborough, UK.

“But wait, how can that be” is the response I usually receive “how is that even possible for sauropod and marine reptiles to coincide from the same Oxford Clay Formation deposits of Peterborough”

“Well, the time and effort that Femke M. Holwerda, Mark Evans and Jeff J. Liston have put into explaining such finds in this write up makes for a much-needed thought provoking read indeed.”

“Femke, Mark and Jeff thank you for the acknowledgement I really appreciate that” 😉

The full PDF version is at the link below

An experiment in fossil preparation by Richard Forrest

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For those of you who know Stamford and District Geological Society member Richard Forrest and his canny habit of not to be beaten by the fossil in front of him when it comes to prepping.

Well here is another example of one his tried and tested techniques on the sea urchin a Clypeus ploti. 

Field Secretary Kenny Nye has been very busy over the past couple of months fine tuning the society’s field trip calendar for 2019. With some potential dates pencilled in for Ketton Quarry so perhaps we all can try Richards technique quoted below 😊  

“If like me you collect fossils, you may have been struck by the way in which natural weathering can ‘prepare’ fossils rather better than standard preparation methods. This intrigues me, and has made me wonder if this can be replicated in some way. My best guess is that the natural process is a combination of freeze/thaw cycles and mildly acid washes from rain. So this is my kitchen sink (rather literally!) experiment. I’ve used two echinoids of the genus Clypeus collected from the Blisworth Sandstone from Ketton as test subjects. These fossils are relatively common, and no great loss if the experiment destroys them. Both were partly covered by hard matrix when found. I first soaked the specimen in water made slightly acidic by a slug of vinegar. After leaving it for a couple of hours, I drained away the water and put it in the freezer at a temperature of approximately -20˚C. After a few hours, out of the freezer. To start with I then poured warm water over specimen. After the first few cycles I used boiling water. The initial effect of this was to spall small fragments of matrix off the surface.”

Fig 1: Above is specimen 1 after 4 cycles – dorsal view. Some matrix has come off, but there is a long way to go! At this stage I was scrubbing the echinoid with a toothbrush after it had cooled.

Fig 2: Above is specimen 1 after 4 cycles – ventral view.

Fig 3: Above is specimen 1 after 10 cycles – dorsal view. More of the matrix has come off, but it’s a slow process. I started to use some mechanical assistance at this point, pinging off matrix using a penknife.

Fig 4: Specimen 1 after 14 cycles – dorsal view. Most of the matrix has come off, either by spalling off as the boiling water hits, or by pinging off.
Fig 5: Above is specimen 1 after 18 cycles – dorsal view. The last few cycles made little difference, so this is about as far as the process can go.

Fig 6: Above is specimen 1 after 18 cycles – ventral view.

“The process seemed to work pretty well. I started a second echinoid when part-way through the process making use of what I had learned at the time. The freeze/thaw cycles spall off small fragments of matrix as a the hot water hits the specimen and expose fine surface detail which other methods may not reveal. Larger, hard chunks of matrix are softened and can be scraped off more easily. This is a very limited experiment as only one type of fossil from one Formation was used. Many fossils are affected by water, and obviously cannot be prepared in this way. Fragile specimens may disintegrate under the thermal stresses created. But then, as every experienced preparator knows, each fossil is different, and needs different preparation methods. Specimen 1 has been given to my grandson Otis who was born on the day I found it – you need to start them young! The following images are of the second specimen and show the fine surface detail the process has revealed.”

Fig 7: Above is specimen 2 fully prepared – dorsal view. Some fragments of matrix are still there on the surface, but it is better to stop subjecting the specimen to thermal stress rather than tryng to attain perfection.

Fig 8: Above is specimen 2 detail.

Fig 9: Above is specimen 2 detail.

Fig 10: Above is specimen 2 detail.

“Photographs taken on Olympus TG-4 using integral focus stacking and LED light guide.”

So these are the ‘pound stones’ William Smith was finding in the story of the first geological map – The Map That Changed the World’. It’s a nice little historical footnote for these great specimens.

Thank you Richard for sharing. 

Fulletby brickyard – a classic locality in the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation in Lincolnshire

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An article titled “Fulletby brickyard – a classic locality in the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation in Lincolnshire” written for the Deposits Magazine by Stamford and District Geological Society member John Green is now available at the link below.

As yet “unknown” fossils from the Bembridge marls on the Isle of Wight.

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I sent some photos of this thought-provoking fossil pictured below I found from the Bembridge marls in Hamstead on the Isle of Wight to Alan Morton. Alan runs the very informative website which has a Collection of Eocene and Oligocene Fossils.

Fossil from the Bembridge marls at Hamstead on the Isle of Wight

Fossil from the Bembridge marls at Hamstead on the Isle of Wight
This is the underneath of the above fossil

 This was his much needed reply quoted below.

“Thanks for sending those images.

I must start by saying that I do not know what these objects are. I come across similar objects frequently whilst sorting through samples of the Bembridge Marls, looking for rare species of mollusc. I put these bony objects aside, hoping that one day I shall be in contact with someone who can shed more light on them. There is one of my specimens of a similar object to yours on the website and pictured below as “Unidentified 3.4mm” placed between the reptile remains and mammal remains in the table of images.

“Unidentified 3.4mm”

I think that the only thing we can really rule out is mammal. You may be right in thinking they are fish, but fish bones are usually rather thin and laminated or ‘flaky’, whereas these objects seem rather more solid, and usually very black, smooth and shiny on their surfaces. I don’t think we can at this stage rule out reptile, or even amphibian. I do wonder whether they might be some sort of dermal bony protective plates of some sort. They don’t look right to me for dental plates.

Anyway, I’d love to know what they are, and I would then put some more examples on the website to help others with their ids, so if you are able to make any further progress with them, do let me know.

Best wishes,


Further and all suggestions are most welcome.

Ketton Quarry report back 01/12/2018

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A fine drizzle of rain made it ideal fossil hunting conditions for our visit to Ketton Quarry. Thank you to all the members who braved the weather.

Here’s just a few photos of the day, please send in any more you may have so we can add them here.

Marine crocodile possible Lemmysuchus

Preserved truncated rootlets.

Calcite crystals

Echinoid spine


Thalattosuchian – and almost surely a metriorhynchid.

Members looking for fossils

See you all next year 😊


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