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45 Million Fossiliferous! EarthCache

Hidden : 06/28/2011
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

A walk along a flat, sandy beach at Bracklesham Bay. You get to the beach though a cutting in the shingle near the car park, but this is not really “wheelchair friendly”, as there is no concrete ramp. The beach has wooden groynes every hundred metres or so, and this could make buggy pushing a bit difficult. Check the local high tide/low tide here to be sure that it’s low tide when you visit the site.

This is an Earthcache, so you are NOT looking for a hidden container this time. If you want to log this earthcache you will have to send in some answers about the fossils you find.

Go down to the beach and turn left. You are going to visit one of the most densely populated fossil areas in the UK. And as soon as you reach the beach you will begin to find fossils that have been washed up by the sea. Fossils are the ancient remains of creatures that lived long, long ago. These fossils are from the Eocene period which was about 45 million years before the present. The fossils you will find on the beach have washed out of muddy beds of fossils. These fossil beds are about 100 metres from the shingle at the top of the beach. Sometimes the beds are covered by sand.

Please do not damage the fossil beds or remove any fossils from the fossil beds themselves. But please DO take photographs of the fossil beds if you have a camera. There is no need to damage the beds because there are thousands of fossils lying on the beach.

All the fossils you will find are from sea creatures that lived long ago. Some of the fossils look like present day sea creatures, but they are not. When you find a fossil, just think, you are the first human being to ever touch this creature. You are holding something that lived 45 million years ago.

Sharks Teeth
If you search hard enough you will find fossil sharks teeth. These are black and look like a T shape. You can often find them if you look in the sand and gravel at the ends of the breakwaters. Was this a shark graveyard? No. Sharks are born with “cartridges” of replaceable teeth. As one tooth gets worn, it gets pushed out and replaced with a sharp replacement. That’s why sharks teeth are quite common here. It is the blunt teeth that you will find.

Shells
Many of the fossils are like modern day cockle shells. But the fossils are a beige/grey colour. You can also find fossil oyster shells, which are pale brown in colour

Sea Snails
You will find many sea snail shells. They look a bit like miniature helter-skelters from a fairground.

“Coins”
These are flat rounded fossils.

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Click here for more internet sites about the fossils on this beach.
REMEMBER – PLEASE DO NOT DIG ANY FOSSILS OUT OF THE FOSSIL BEDS. Here's some EXTA LOCAL ADVICE! For sharks teeth, you have to search in the gravelly bit just under the pebbles at the top. They are usually near the top so digging too deep won't help you .

In order to claim this earthcache you must do the following things

TO DO
1. Find at least two different types of fossil
2. Using the chart below send me their technical names
3. What is the size in millimetres of the fossil specimen you found?



Technical Name


Venericor Planicosta



Turritela



Foraminifera Mummulites laevigatus


Cubitostrea elegans



Striatolamia macrota

Additional Hints (No hints available.)