Monday, April 14, 2014

Fossil Hunting in England's Jurassic - Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay
Today (April 14) we drove a few miles north to another small village at Runswick Bay

There we found several small ammonite and bivalve (as yet unidentified) imprints in shale along the foreshore, a few of which are pyritized but are too small and black-on-black for a worthy photo.
Back in Whitby, local palaeobiologist Byron Blessed of Natural Wonders, Ltd., disappointed us.  Our jet black isn't.  It's just ho-hum petrified wood.  Local jewelers pay £100 ($150) per pound for jet.  Reimbursement for airfare was not to be.  Though recently, I'm told, some blokes worked 36 hours straight, hanging from ropes on cliffs near Runswick Bay, extracting 4 petrified trunks of jet from the cliffs in a top-secret operation.  I'm told they made off with £40,000 for their efforts.

Back to our flat and the small balcony to look over the goods. . .

. . . and then  off to the pub.

I asked Byron if he would guide me on a fossil field trip to either Port Mulgave or Kettleness, listed as difficult and very difficult in Dean Lomax's "Fossils of the Whitby Coast".  Byron looked me up and down, literally, and, using his axis vertebra, shook his head no.  Not only are these areas accessed by rope, but the recent storms have rendered the area unsafe.  Naturally, these are the "High frequency find" areas - the kind that yield marine reptile skulls.

Guess you gotta know the ropes.

Saltburn, further up the coast, shows off its fossil heritage.

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