Saturday, March 17, 2012

A quick Trip back to the Jurassic

The North Yorkshire coast, southwards from Staithes to Port Mulgrave, is famous for the range and quality of Jurassic (200-145 mya) fossils that are constantly eroded from its crumbling cliffs. These are a few of the many fossils I saw during a visit last week.

An ammonite....

...... another ammonite ......

..... another one ...

....... and even more ammonites. There are hundreds of them, which makes this a popular area with fossil collectors.

These ........

..... and this are (I think) brachiopods.

Fossilised oyster shells......

..... and scallops Pseudopecten ...

.... which are the most distinctive bivalve mollusc fossils along this stretch of coast.

Fossilised U-shaped burrows of a shrimp-like animal called Rhizocorallium.

A narrow seam of jet - fossilised remains of a tree similar to the present-day monkey puzzle.

.... and finally, there's always a strong possibility that you can strike gold here. Unfortunately it's fool's gold, iron pyrites, but when it encrusts fossils like this one it is rather beautiful.


  1. I don't "do" geology, but I love to collect these things. It would be hard not to have sticky fingers there!

  2. They bring out the collector's instinct in me Ellen, but the deterrent is that you have to climb a long and very steep cliff path to get off the beach, which limits the amount of rock that you can carry....

  3. This is one of the sights (and sites) in the UK I haven't visited and would absolutely love to. Thanks for taking me there, if only via the Internet.

  4. You just have to like them, do you not? Not all that is lost is lost and we humans can still treasure all of it to this day.

    Kind Regards

    Tony Powell

  5. My partner has seen ammonites you can sit on at Port Mulgrave (real ones, not the concrete seats in Whitby).

  6. Occasionally you fine ammonites with a golden coating like that toffeeapple, but they are usually embedded in a large slab of rock.

  7. Hi John, If you ever visit Whitby take a look around the local museum there - they have a fine collection of fossils from this coast.

  8. Can't resist collecting fossils Tony. Best wishes, Phil gates

  9. Hi snippa, beautiful objects aren't they? In Whitby museum they have some exquisite chess boards with the squares inlaid with pollished ammonites..