Monday, 8 October 2012

Unexpected fossil hunt

Today I found myself at the Skillion in Terrigal. It's basically a huge lump of Triassic sandstone that is eroding away near the coast. I had heard that people had been finding plant remains there so I thought I'd have a quick look. I was completely unprepared and just had Bella the Labradoodle, my phone and a handbag!

I knew it was going to be good as soon as I started my way down to the rock platform. Around the path was scattered grey mudstone/shales that had fragments of fossils within them. Up against the cliff a small section had fallen and amongst the mess I found some lovely pieces of Dicroidium, a Mesozoic seed fern, and a seed/cupule. The cupule is my favourite piece of the day. It shimmers when you move it in the light and is exquisitely preserved.

I crammed a few muddy pieces into my handbag (yep, mud and all!).

Once home I raced to clean and photograph the specimens as most of them are incredibly fragile, having been weathered by sea and rain.

Here they are! I would love to get some feedback, if any of you happen to be Dicroidium specialists I would be indebted to your opinion on the species.


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