Friday, October 30, 2015

Iguanodon Footprints cast in red mudstone for Fossil Friday

It's been a while since I posted fossil photos for "Fossil Friday", so here are the missing photos that I posted to Facebook over the past few weeks.

Iguanodon Footprints

Although dinosaur footcasts preserved in Wessex Formation sandstones are perhaps more obvious, there are many preserved out in the vividly coloured mudstones too. Infilled footprints can often be found at the boundary (contact) between beds of different colours. This red-infilled footcast was probably made by an Iguanodon.

Wessex Formation, Barremian, Lower Cretaceous, ~130 Ma, Grange Chine, Brighstone foreshore, Isle of Wight, UK.

The three toes of the hindfoot are especially well defined in this footcast.
Here is another in the same horizon, a little more weathered.

This is the exposure itself at Grange Chine (Brighstone foreshore). You can see two red footprints in the foreground.



Ammonites in the lower chalk 

Collecting ammonites from the glauconitic marl with my dad and brother (pictured). Usually you find small Schloenbachia and Mantelliceras, but occasionally the big species turn up. Old Park Hotel, Isle of Wight, UK; Lower Chalk, Cenomanian, ~95 Ma, Upper Cretaceous.

How many ammonites can you see in this picture?

A mammoth day out

Back in the day, I used to run fossil-hunting field trips for armies of ten year olds. This is probably the best thing ever found on my trips: a mammoth tooth. We were actually looking for dinosaur bone in the Wealden, but Letitia brought this up to me and asked what it was, so I then had to explain about the Pleistocene gravels that form the upper 2m or so of the cliffs. This was shortly after we met a man on the beach who had found a lost baby stoat and had it crawling around all over his jacket. The kids were already pretty excited about that, so the mammoth tooth sent them wild!

This was quite a few years ago now. Still better than anything I have found from the Pleistocene.

Some associated pterosaur bones

Some pterosaur bones for #fossilfriday. My dad collected these a few years ago from the Vectis Formation, UK. Pterosaur material is supposedly rare, but turns up fairly regularly if you know what to look for. Collecting pterosaur bones in the UK helped me to identify a few pieces that I have found or helped describe from the Late Cretaceous of the USA. One day I will get round to describing the pterosaur bits we have found in the UK too.

Vectis Fm, lower Aptian, Lower Cretaceous, Isle of Wight, UK.

Pterosaur limb bones in coquina (storm bed) dominated by the bivalve Filosina.

Fossil lobster (okay, it's more shrimp-sized...)

A small Meyeria magna lobster, preserved in 3D. These are very attractive little fossils, and quite abundant if the right layer is exposed and you know what you are looking for.

Lower Lobster Bed, Lower Greensand (Aptian), Atherfield, Isle of Wight, UK.

Everyone likes to find fossil crustaceans, especialy when they have fine detail such as the tiny spines on this Meyeria.

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