I found this on the beach at Filey in Yorkshire. I would take a guess at a tooth bit dont know what. It is about 3cm long.
Can anyone tell me what it is?
It is the rostrum of a belemnite, from the Jurassic (145-201 million years old).
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belemnitida (including description of 'rostrum')
Have fun and if you collect anything interesting, make sure you write down the information on a label and place it in the bag with the fossil [please see e.g. below]
All the best,
You can make your labels larger, of course.
And you aim to add information over time: you may not know the specimen name or age when you collect it, for example.
It is very early days in your fossil hunting exploits, but if I can make a further suggestion: keep a localities book.
That would be essentially a list of localities, probably in chronological order, comprising a reference code (letters and/or numbers) and a description of where it is. The description may well include a map.
For instance, you may visit a bay and collect fossils from various places along the foot of the cliffs, higher up the cliffs, at the back of the car park, etc.
Your localities book might then contain:
NBFE 10jun13 Nodcombe Bay, Fossilshire, England <grid ref for the bay as a whole> <map with numbers marking various collecting spots>
Your locality refs might then be NBFE1, NBFE2, NBFE3, NBFE4, etc.
And you can subdivide those if necessary, eg. you might split NBFE3 into NBFE3a, NBFEb.
It would be those locality refs that you'd put on your specimen slips.
Why do this?
- There's little room on a label for a locality description
- If you collect many specimens, it can become very repetitive to write out a long name over and over again (especially if it is cold and rainy)
- You may want to be detailed in your recording of locality
- You may want to refer to locality in other objects, eg, photographs, field trip records, microscope slides (thin sections) (a ref is much more convenient and consistent)
- You may also adopt the practice of putting a blob of white paint on your specimens and writing a specimen number on it - and the specimen number can include the locality ref, eg. NBFE3b/42. That reduces the risk of information loss through your specimen slip becoming separated from its specimen.
There is some downside, however:
- Risk of losing your localities book - whence all your specimens would lose valuable associated information!
- More rigour needed in your field practices (no bad thing in general)
- A bit of time and effort involved in deciding how your system will work (there are no real rules; us geologists just like to be efficient if we can)
- If in future you pass your collection on to somebody else, they would have to understand your system and be able to read your localities book!
It is just something to think about.
I hope you find more fossils, and maybe minerals, to get you hooked!