must.. find... ammonites....

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Fossils' started by pocketmoon, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. pocketmoon

    pocketmoon Cuttlefish Registered

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    So the weekend is here and the big question for me is :

    Can I find a source of safe ammonites within 2 hours drive of mid-berkshire :)

    After some exhaustive googling, it appears that Wiltshire has a few locations where the little devils put up.

    One scary sounding place is wooton basset mud spings which ooze ammonites.

    http://woottonbassett.homestead.com/mudsprings.html

    Anyone been here and survived ? Or in fact know of any less suicidal inland locations ?

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  2. erich orser

    erich orser Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Dangerous but fun! I'd certainly go there.

    Erich :ammonite:
     
  3. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Didn't know about Wootton Bassett but from a quick search it looks like the site is absolutely awesome as to the preservation of the specimens. The site seems to be exceptional with Jurassic ammonites, belemnites and bivalves preserved extremely well with their original mother-of-pearl coating. The fossils seem to be bubbled up via springs from the underlying Kimmeridgian and Oxfordian clays. Apparantly many of the ammonites are unique this location, which makes the site exceptionally interesting.

    I was surprised to read this was the only mud spring in the UK, and has claimed the life of many a cow stuck fast. You be careful out there, pocketmoon!

    Here's a good link to the geology of the area, though I'm sure you have seen it already:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ca..._38_07.html+"wootton+bassett"+ammonites&hl=en

    And here's some drawings of ammonites you may be lucky enough to find (scroll down to the ammonite section):

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ca...kimfoss.htm+"wootton+bassett"+ammonites&hl=en

    Well best of luck, it'd great to see some photos and a report here so go for it!

    Bon chance,

    Phil
     
  4. spartacus

    spartacus Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    now that's a cool site !
    I'm a big fan of Dr. West's website & have read through heaps of it but never perused that bit, ammonites to rescue & baby soft skin after to boot, could stop wasting my cash on Olay !

    Keef
     
  5. pocketmoon

    pocketmoon Cuttlefish Registered

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  6. pocketmoon

    pocketmoon Cuttlefish Registered

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    mini update :)

    link
     
  7. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Wow, you found those in 5 minutes? The preservation on that ammonite is absolutely excellent, and that is a lovely belemnite you have there too. Any idea what species of ammonite it is?

    Most impressed by the site, but the mud spring does look dangerous. Hope you didn't see any cows being swallowed!
     
  8. pocketmoon

    pocketmoon Cuttlefish Registered

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    No idea about the species. I'm going to buy a macro lens for my digicam so I can get some better pics. The mud springs look pretty deadly but when you enter the site along the stream (from down stream) you're well away from the large cow-swallowing areas. There's a mini-spring at the edge of the stream (which is about 4ft wide) which discharges directly into the water. Infact the water is constanty washing past a vertical face of fossil bearing mud :) and I think a lot could be found downstream of the SSSI area.

    The belamnites were on the point of being washed out. I stood in the stream in about 12" of water, stuck my hands into the mud at the bottom, brought up a handfull and squeezed. A sieve would be an excellent idea though because I still have a tiny splinter of fossilised oyster in my index finger :)

    Interestingly google tells the tale of when the neighbouring canal was re-instated a few years back they found lots of oyster shells. The people doing the renovation thought they must be from the canal boat users from the time the canal was in use a hundred years ago or so!


    Rob
     

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