Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Went to Lyme Regis, on the Dorset Jurassic coast, with the family today on a glorious Easter holiday day out. Tried catching crabs off the cob and learn a valuable lesson about the need to tie the mackerel heads into the net to stop them falling out and giving the crabs a free lunch. Sadly the resident conger is no longer in the little harbour aquarium but they have tame grey mullet and I bought a beautiful urchin 'test' that I hadn't seen before. I think the handwritten label said 'sputnic urchin' because of its round form and marine-mine like probes, very apt on the week of the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first space flight. Spent the last of the afternoon sun exploring the beach beneath the undercliff for fossils with the children. Found a lot of small bits of ammonite, or in Dorset vernacular 'snakestones' - ( I think a piece of pyrite ammonite Echioceras and a piece of Arietites bucklandi) and a small Devil's toenail (Gryphaea arcuata). I bought an excellent laminated identification sheet and we looked at the ammonite pavement slabs carpeted with the remains of Jurassic sea life. All of us traipsed back enthusiastically with pockets full of fossils and stones that could possibly be fossils and looked at the amazing giant ammonites on the immovable beach bolders.

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