Friday, 26 February 2016

Jurassic mud.

As you know, I've been having a fairly grim time recently, so today after the shopping I decided to go back in time;

This is the eerie landscape of The Isle of Sheppey, which Robyn and I visited on our all too brief period of respite in 2014.

The cliffs are made up of muds and 'London Clay' laid down in the Eocene period about 50 million years ago.

Personally would rather call it 'Jurassic Mud' keeps me happy. 

It can be quite formidable, someone lost their wellington boots here and only just got away with it;

Anyway, Robyn picked up some seashells and kept some of the mud which was inside one so that I could try to find some microfossils.

It's only 18 months late but today I got out some equipment and had a go.

The brown paper is a coffee filter;

Here's the sample Robyn kept;

Looks promising;

Here the water is breaking up the mud;

Waste water;

Next time, I wouldn't bother to filter it. I'd just 'pan' it in the tray like a gold prospector;

I picked out a couple of early 'possibles'.

On the right is a fragment of modern day seashell. On the left is a piece of stone that has a pattern that looks distinctly organic to me. They are both resting on the filter paper;

Now to filter the rest. Cut the top off a plastic bottle and put it upside down into the base of the bottle and put the filter paper inside;

Here's my 'organic looking stone' on my finger;

Those are my fingerprints and on the left a scar - I have a few of those!

I still think it's possibly a sponge or something similar.

I didn't find any obvious fossils - I was hoping for some fish bones at the very least. 

I did find some grains of sand and lots of shell fragments. I guess we picked up the shell from the wrong part of the beach.

The round grains are quartz;

Still, at least I don't need to build an exhibit cabinet.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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