New finds and acquisitions, June 2013

As you might have gathered, I´ve been collecting on the Yorkshire coast again at the end of March, and there are a few finds worth mentioning, that I have prepared now.

Also there are a few new acquisitions, either through generous gifts / trades from friends or purchases from fossil shops or eBay.
Furthermore, I´ve had the chance to photograph a few more ammonites from friend´s collections (you won’t see those now, though, they’re for the book)
But first things first –

New finds

Aegoceras (Beaniceras) luridum (SIMPSON, 1855)

In a recent blog post (link) I was moaning about not having found a Beaniceras yet – I had been intensely “bed walking” the relevant beds in summer last year and had only found a flattened specimen as proof that I was on the right bed and had almost given up hope to ever find one
– but when I picked up this inner whorl of a Lytoceras  this March on the beach and turned the rock around I knew I finally found one !
This small 1 cm beauty is a Beaniceras luridum, the index fossil of the luridum subzone, that got preserved in the same nodule as the Lytoceras. It is not exactly a large example, but better than nothing…

Pleuroceras anaptychus

This one looked up from a puddle at Shaun and I while we were collecting around Hawsker.
I had shown an aptychus (lower jaw) of a Peronoceras before (link), this now is an anaptychus (upper jaw) of a Pleuroceras. They’re exceedingly rare – first one I’ve found. As it happens, there has just been an article in the May issue of the german “Fossilien” magazine by Prof. Keupp describing an even more complete upper and lower jaw set of a Pleuroceras – apparently, judging from the form of the jaws, Pleuroceras was more of a krill (i.e. tiny shrimp) muncher, it did not have much of a bite…


Coroniceras deffneri (OPPEL, 1862)

I had found small (1-3 cm) specimen of this ammonite in the glacial drift at Robin Hoods Bay before, but the problem with identifying such small
Coroniceras ammonites is that usually only very large specimen are pictured in literature and inner whorls are rarely pictured / preserved – so I had not had a lot of confidence in my identification.
As part of a trade, Shaun Tymon gave me this larger (6.5 cm) specimen off the Holderness coast, which can now be confidently identified as Coroniceras deffneri – and it makes the list of specimen for the book one entry longer, since it had not originally been on there ! Thanks again, Shaun !

New purchases

Uptonia lata (QUENSTEDT, 1845)

Uptonia lata, 9 cm, Saltburn

Uptonia lata, 9 cm, Saltburn

This Uptonia lata came from Byron Blessed’s shop and had apparently been part of a larger Saltburn collection, that seems to have been sold to a couple of different dealers as lots – I think I have several different items from this collection, all have come with a characteristic small neat typewritten label.
Well preserved Ammonites from these beds are notoriously difficult to come by – you usually only find well weathered fragments…
With this one, the lower lias “wants” list is now one entry shorter and has been updated accordingly.

Harpoceras soloniacense (LISSAJOUS, 1906)

Harpoceras cf. soloniacense, 6.5 cm, Port Mulgrave

Harpoceras cf. soloniacense, 6.5 cm, Port Mulgrave

I regularly check eBay for interesting finds and this one caught my eye since it was labeled as a species that I had not come across from the Yorkshire coast : Harpoceras soloniacense.
Now misidentifications are not uncommon on eBay, but I took the chance…
Howarth’s Harpoceratidae monograph does not list it as occurring on the Yorkshire coast, but there is really no reason why it should not occur in Yorkshire – Zugodactylites braunianus was also
discovered relatively late in Yorkshire.
I’m pretty sure it really is a H. soloniacense : So the list of ammonites for the book just got another entry longer…

A steep learning curve or Artwork for the book

I’m currently on a steeeeep learning curve for producing artwork for the book – I’d like to include some symbolic drawings for every ammonite, so it was time for a graphics program, in this case Adobe Illustrator, to get drawing.
I would call my computer skills “advanced” without having to blush, but this is a hugely powerful and complex program and it took me the better part of a weekend to get into how this thing works in principle (and I’m sure I barely scratched the surface…) and to produce some simple graphics.  I prefer learning a new program this way, I just need a meaningful, yet simple enough project to get started.

Every ammonite species in the book will have a symbol showing which type of ribbing the ammonite shows and what a whorl section to expect.
These are important diagnostic features that will be shown (apart from on the actual picture of the fossil) in a simplified graphic :


Whorl section and rib diagrams for the book

Whorl section and rib diagrams for the book

If you noticed the little stylized ammonite in the lower right corner – in the book you’ll see a lot more of it – have a guess what for !


Abundance (or rarity...) indicators for the book

Abundance (or rarity…) indicators for the book


Every species page will show a set of these, indicating the abundance (or rarity) of the species.
This of course can only be an estimation from experience – even after 24 years there can be beds I have not found yet where a seemingly rare ammonite
occurs in abundance…


To keep your withdrawal symptoms at bay, I will shortly post more about “real” ammonites from my spring collecting trip.