This fossil was near Stanton Harcourt and was probably from the Middle Oxford Clay although there may have been some transported material.
It is 3 cm long and looks a bit like a trilobite or a leaf but has a 'head end' with what appears to be eye compartments.
We are wondering if it could be a seed case.
Can anyone help?
It does look like a single object (rather than a pair of, say, orthocone nautiloids; not actually very close).
And it is useful to see the cross section revealed by the break.
There is a hint of trilobite, true (but they died out well before the Oxfordian);
and of a Colutea arborescens (bladder senna) seed pod.
But I wonder if it is a Machaeridian?
That image is from this more general page
But they are from the Ordovician to the Carboniferous, as far as I know (well before the Jurassic Oxfordian).
Many thanks for your suggestions.
It is more likely to be from the Oxford Clay than from anywhere else as it was with other fossils from this strata.
I am sure it is one single, bilaterally symmetrical object. Unfortunately the underside (if it is the underside!) is not visible as it is covered by matrix but the ridges give the impression that they continue and curve round underneath.
I think it actually is a rather battered section of trilobite that has been transported to the site by the processes of glaciation.
I have collected in various spots in that area and in addition to the normal oxford clay fossils I kept finding fragments of coral (which is odd because the conditions that produced the oxford clays were not suitable to corals).
When I took them in to have them identified they turned out to be from the much earlier Carboniferous period - the nearest exposures of such rocks are in the midlands so the fragments must have been broken off by moving glaciers which then carried the material south.
It's a great find though - I'll bet it would take you a while to find another one there
Thanks Ryan, but I can't take any credit for finding it as it belongs to a friend!
It does look like a battered trilobite and that was my initial thought but I'm really not sure. The fact that you have found Carboniferous material in that area makes it more likely. How very intriguing.
Thank you for sharing such an interesting find. I forwarded your images to our specialist who says he is inclined towards identifying this as a Belemnite phragmocone, the obvious dip between the two sides is
?where the siphuncle would have been.
Hope this is helpful,
FYI - www.ucmp.berkeley.edu
Many thanks Fiona,
Your belemnite phragmocone suggestion would fit with the fossil being found in the clay rather than older rocks. I admit that particular identification never crossed our minds but I am sure you are right! It is good to have the mystery solved.