When it comes to filling a gap in our collection, we collectors become a bunch of wishful thinkers, easily taking the slightest hint that a specimen might be the sought after species as fact. Please note that this explicitly includes myself, and I´ve got a feeling it is directly proportional to the time that gap is perceived to be open.
One of my examples in this area is the below ammonite, found in October 2010 at Hawsker Bottoms.
I was so ready to call it Hildaites murleyi, believe me, mainly for the fact that it exhibits a finer ribbing than the usual Hildoceras lusitanicum (see here). But a final niggle remained, the preservation just did not fit – it was a typical commune zone Hildoceras lusitanicum preservation, with a sugary pyrite/calcite shell, that was almost gone, and a pyritic internal mould with some replacement shell.
Hildaites murleyi is an exaratum/falciferum subzone ammonite on the Yorkshire coast and in my experience relatively rare.
I´ve only really got one Yorkshire specimen I´m 100 % sure of that it is Hildaites murleyi, and it is the one shown in the title picture.
You can´t beat a good ammonite association, even better one that is so diagnostic as the above one : The small ammonites next to the Hildaites murleyi are Cleviceras, this small 10 x 5 cm matrix sliver also has many small shiny black ammonite aptychi and possibly belemnite hooks, which are so typical for certain exaratum subzone beds.
I just had to take it, even though it is not a Yorkshire specimen, one has to do something to close that burning gap…
by SEEBACH in 1864. Arno is well known for his craftsmanship in preparing shelled liassic ammonites and this one comes in a beautiful chocolate and
caramel coloured calcite shell:
Now when you closely compare the two ammonites you can see the difference immediately:
But, you know, it´s not from Yorkshire, and it´s not the same as found by myself … I´ll continue looking… 🙂