With the possible new sign in place I will accept this EC without Q1 until I get to check the new sign at stage 1…
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.
Fossils vary in size from microscopic, even single bacterial cells one micrometer in diameter, to gigantic, such as dinosaurs and trees many meters long and weighing many tons. A fossil normally preserves only a portion of the deceased organism, usually that portion that was partially mineralised during life, such as the bones and teeth of vertebrates. Fossils may also consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as animal tracks.
Some methods which fossils are created...
Freezing is a type of preservation in which an animal falls into a crevasse or pit and remains frozen.
Imprints are simply the external molds of very thin organisms, such as leaves and trilobites. They are often found in rocks.
Drying or Dessication
Remains of animals that have been thoroughly dried out and can be found in caves in arid and semi-arid areas.
Replacement takes place when water dissolves the original hard parts and replaces them with mineral matter. This chemical action may take place slowly, over thousnads of years, reproducing the microscopic structures of the original organism. Bone, shells and wood are often well preserved in this manner.
Permineralization takes place when ground water carrying dissolved minerals infiltrates the microscopic pores and cavities in bone, wood or shell. The minerals being deposited produce stony fossils that still contain a good deal of their original solid material. Bones, teeth and many marine organisms are preserved in this way.
Pseudofossils (not fossils)
Many objects of inorganic origin can resemble fossils. These are called pseudofossils. Hardened masses of mineral substances called concretions are often mistaken for fossils. These can sometimes resemble plants and animals.
Fossils you might find...
Belemnitida (or belemnites) is an extinct order of cephalopods which existed during the Mesozoic era, from the Lower Jurassic to the Upper Cretaceous periods. The belemnite is the state fossil of Delaware
Ammonites are an extinct group of marine mollusc animals, closely related to living colloids (i.e., octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish). The earliest ammonites appear during the Devonian period, and the last species died out during the Cretaceous Paleogene extinction event. (The same time as the dinosaurs).
Turritella are sea snails. They have tightly coiled shells, whose overall shape is basically that of an elongated cone. The name Turritella comes from the Latin word turritus meaning "turreted".
TO LOG THE EARTHCACHE...
Please answer and send to a message to me the following...
- What is the large metal fossil on the notice board, and how many segments is this fossil? (From the Notice board)
- When / How did the first one become extinct? (From internet / cache page / or own knowledge)
- Of the above methods of fossil creation, how do you think the fossils formed? (From internet / cache page / or own knowledge)
Now head to the beach front, at Copt Point, and look for some fossils...
- Describe any of the fossils you discover, and what types of fossil are they?
i. please include name of fossil, size, colour, texture and if you think it is a complete fossil or a fragment.
- (Optional extra) Please include a photo of the fossils you find, I would love to see them.
Where to look
You can find fossils and fragments of fossils almost as soon as you step onto the beach. However the further around the coast away from the beach you venture, the better and bigger and more complete your fossils will be.
Look in the rocky areas, and in crevaces and in shallow rock pools. Look up along the coast line and all the way to the sea.
If you find clay areas, that is a good spot to look around.
If you find one, then you will have an eye of what to look for...
But a tip is look at the reddish clusters of stones and look at the shiny black stones. These two colours should see you right!
Please use your common sense, and allow yourself adequate time for this...
Please only attempt this if the water levels allow you to search for fossils.
The tide turns quick and comes in very fast at Copt Point - be aware of the water at all times
The rocks can be slippery. Seaweed can cover gaps in the rocks. Be very careful where you step.
The sea contains living animals, take care where you go, and you will see crabs, and even small fish in the pools.
Most low tides should give you adequate time and shoreline to look for new fossils.
It is a good idea to go after stormy weather for most chance of finds, although if you allow yourself time to look, you WILL find at least one fossil.
There are numerous tide times resources available online. But for ease, here are tide times for Folkstone...
Aim to be on the beach about 90 minutes before low tide. And know the time when the tide turns, head back about then.
A further tip...
At low tide the sea will go almost silent, when you hear the sea again, the tide has turned!
Always keep the tide on your mind and use your eyes!
Head back from your location when you hear the tide turn.
Getting to the Beach
The beach is a short walk away, but there are routes that you need to be aware of...
There is a route that follows an old footpath which has had the public right of way removed due to the landslides it crosses. DO NOT go this route.
There is a way marked point on the cache page for the footpath. From the parking, cross the golf pitch+putt area, pass the Martello tower to the waypoint. (There are some great views from here)
This footpath splits in two.
- The direct route is steep and has steps and a slopes to negotiate.
- The longer route is a more gradual path, but is quite a bit longer to the beach.
Either route will get you to the beach, but please go via the route you feel comfortable. And return again via either route, on whichever path suits you. Both ends are waypointed for ease of reference.
MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN,
GOOD LUCK FINDING A FOSSIL,
YOU CAN KEEP THEM!