Category: Photos/Pictures of Fossils

Seeing Fossils Everywhere

Spotting Objects that Resemble Fossils

One of the drawbacks of working with so much fossil material is that after a while team members at Everything Dinosaur tend to see examples of fossils in everyday objects.  We tend to call these “pseudofossils”.  The term pseudofossil is used to describe an object that resembles a body or trace fossil when it is not.  These misleading structures can be found throughout nature.  For example, Everything Dinosaur staff are often shown photographs of paving blocks which the owner claims show a fossil, but these strange patterns in stone are produced by crystals of manganese oxide coming out of solution as water passes through cracks in the rock.  The crystals align themselves in the direction of water flow and often resemble a plant fossil, such as fern in appearance.

We do our best not to leave the bearer of the photograph too dejected, after all, we do point out that the arrangement of the crystals in the stone is unique and there is not another one like it in the whole of the world.

Whilst visiting a trade show, one of the Everything Dinosaur team spotted a delightful tea-light, the fern like appearance of this wall mounted fitting reminded us of the Late Precambrian marine organism Charnia (Charnia masoni)

Tea-Light that Resembles Precambrian Charnia

Every day objects remind Everything Dinosaur staff of fossils.

Every day objects remind Everything Dinosaur staff of fossils.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Charnia was a deep-sea, organism whose fossils have been found in Late Precambrian strata in Leicestershire, Australia, Canada and Russia. The first fossil of this strange type of primitive animal, perhaps a colonial animal, was identified from a specimen found by a school boy called Roger Mason in Charnwood Forest (Leicestershire).  Scientists remain uncertain as to what type of organism the this animal was.  It was certainly an animal, as it grew at depths of more than two hundred metres deep, well beyond the depth at which sunlight could penetrate so no photosynthesising plants could exist.  Charnia has bilateral symmetry and is composed of a series of branching, feather-like fronds.  It seems to have been benthic (living on the sea floor), held in place by a disc-like, holdfast mechanism. It has been suggested that this animal may have been ancestral to modern sea pens, but the exact phylogenetic relationship between this 550 million year old organism and modern Phylum remains hotly debated.

One thing that is now known and agreed upon by most palaeontologists, Charnia-like organisms may have been relatively common in the deep-water environments of Late Precambrian seas.

To read an article, related to Sir David Attenborough and the relative abundance of Charnia specimens now being revealed: Spotlight on Fossil Discoveries from Leicestershire (Happy Birthday Sir David)

Seeing the shape and colouration of the tea-light reminded us of the story of Charnia and of how much we have to learn about the origins of life on Earth.

Back into the Fold – Fossils Found

Retrieving Ammonite Fossils

Lost but then they were found.  We have been sent two Ammonite fossils (Dactylioceras spp.) that were part of our extensive collection of fossils from Lower Jurassic strata of North Yorkshire.  Although these Jurassic fossils of Cephalopod Molluscs are common and we do have lots of Ammonite fossils in our collection it was great to see these two specimens again.

Ammonite Fossils Back in Everything Dinosaur’s Collection

Back into the Fold

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Such fossils have become part of ancient folklore, they are referred to as “snakestones”.    The snakestone term is believed to have come from the Whitby area (North Yorkshire), although there are references to such stones from Somerset as well.  The Whitby connection is that the Saxon Abbess St Hilda, on finding an area of land infested with snakes, turned all the reptiles into stones so that an abbey could be built.  As locals wondered why no heads of the snakes had been preserved, only the coiled bodies, heads were often carved onto specimens to make them look more authentic.  Some holotype specimens making up important museum collections have a snake carving on them, we think the holotype for the Ammonite species Dactylioceras commune may be such an example.

There were no snake heads preserved as these fossils are the chambered, coiled shells of Cephalopods related to cuttlefish and squid.

Ichthyosaurus Coprolite

A Picture of Coprolite from a Marine Reptile

At the request of several blog site readers, Everything Dinosaur has posted up a picture of the coprolite (poo) of an Ichthyosaur.

The Picture of the Coprolite

Marine reptile poo.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We at Everything Dinosaur obviously aim to please our readers.

A Picture of a Fossilised Fish

A Picture of a Fossilised Fish

A Picture of a Fossilised Fish

Preserved fossil fish, found in a core drilling sample.

Picture Credit:University of Alberta

The picture above is of the Cretaceous teleost that was found in an oil drill core sample.

Silurian Fossils (Ludlow, Shropshire)

Everything Dinosaur Fossil Hunting Trip to Shropshire

Everything Dinosaur team members went on a special fossil hunting trip to a quiet location in the heart of the Shropshire countryside.  We found lots of fossils as the picture below shows:

A Successful Fossil Hunting Trip with Everything Dinosaur

Silurian Fossils from Shropshire

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Some Brachiopod fossils (Ludlow Series, Much Wenlock Formation), an example of the fossils found on a recent visit to the Mortimer Forest (south Shropshire, England), by Everything Dinosaur team members.

Cast of a Tyrannnosaurus rex Tooth For Sale

Cast of T. rex Tooth for Sale

A picture of the cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex which is a replica of real fossil material, available for sale from Everything Dinosaur.  A cast of a T. rex dinosaur tooth available to buy from Everything Dinosaur.

The Tyrannosaurus rex Tooth Cast

Wonderful Dinosaur Tooth

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A photograph of a Tyrannosaurus rex tooth along with the accompanying Everything Dinosaur T. rex fact sheet as written and researched by our very own dinosaur experts.  A very good quality replica of a Theropod tooth.  The classic profile and the “D-shaped” cross section of a typical Tyrannosaur tooth can clearly be seen in this museum quality replica.


Petrified Wood Fossil – Future Fossil Material

Future Fossilised Wood?

At Everything Dinosaur we work on lots of fossils of vertebrates (and one or two fossils of invertebrates for the matter too), however, for the moment we are working on some very fine samples of fossilised (petrified) wood that have been sent into our offices.  The wood dates from various geological periods of the Mesozoic Era.

Potentially a Future Fossil?

Future Fossil Material?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Team members at Everything Dinosaur were working on some fossilised wood sent to us from the western United States.  We discussed how the fossilisation of wood takes place, the various ways fossils of plant material can occur – carbonisation, petrification etc.

A Successful Fossil Hunt from Lyme Regis

Fossil Hunting with Everything Dinosaur at Lyme Regis

Team members at Everything Dinosaur enjoyed a successful day of fossil hunting along Dorset’s coast.  For a challenge, each team member was given just five minutes to find as many fossils as they could.

Some of the Fossils Collected

Lyme Regis full of fossils

 Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A handful of fossils found on a quick visit to Monmouth beach to the west of Lyme Regis (Lower Jurassic Beds), Ammonites, Belemnites plus a small piece of fossilised bone, a fragment of an Ichthyosaur perhaps?  We had great fun fossil hunting on the beach and this is what one of our experts uncovered in just five minutes of fossil hunting.

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