Having arrived in Lyme Regis yesterday, greeted by sunshine and sweet salty sea air, we have been exploring the seashore and getting our bearings today.
No visit to Lyme is complete without a trip to the beach to go fossil hunting! Keeping an eye on the tides, we headed out first thing this morning to try our luck. Museum scientist Ed Baker is a regualr visitor to the Jurassic Coast and showed us what to look for. Rounded rocks can sometimes contain beautiful fossils...but need to be cracked open to reveal the animal or plant within. This requires a special geological hammer (ordinary ones can shatter if used!) and a touch of experience/skill (cracking the rock open at the right angle is important). Fortunately Ed has both of these things and showed us how it was done....
Rounded rocks are hit along the edge using the blunt end of the hammer
Several ammonites are revealed within the rock
But you can also find fossils without the need for hammers. By looking carefully and sifting through the rocks on the beach, you never know what you might find. Ammonite fossils are pretty common and vertebrae and other bones from fossil marine reptiles can be found by the keen eyed.
With our pockets bulging with our dicoveries and faces glowing from the sun and sea air, we headed back into town to start setting up the satellite equipment for this weekend's live links. If you can't make it down to Lyme Regis, why not join our museum scientists in the Attenborough Studio at the Museum as we link to you live from the festival....
- Saturday 4 May 12.30 and 14.30 Live from Lyme Regis: Fossil Hunters
- Sunday 5 May 12.30 and 14.30 Live from Lyme Regis: Shoreline Search
You can also follow us on Twitter @NatureLive
For more information about the Fossil Festival, visit www.fossilfestival.com
Honorary member of the team Ed Baker helps Media Techs Tony and Eddie set up our satellite equipment