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From our archives -


Leader Mr E V Wright M.A. on Saturday 9th May 1964.

The Yorkshire Chalk is not always do barren of interest for the palaeontologist as is sometimes thought. Fossils are however scattered and are often difficult to extract and clean without damage. On this excursion I hope to cover the zones from Marsupites downwards and if we are lucky introduce members to some of the most notable fossils.

Reverences and pit numbers are taken from the paper "The Chalk of the Yorkshire Wolds" by C W & E V Wright (Proceedings of the Geologists' Association vol LIII (1942) pp. 112-137).

1. Pit 31 Beverley (Zone of Marsupites testutinarius).

We ought to find the zone fossil as well as the following: Echinocorys scutatus, Inoceramus spp.; and if we are luck ammonites (Parapuzosia sp.) and Actinocamax granulatus. (If we can see into the Barracks Pit (Pit 29) we should also find Uintacrinus plates, and possibly also traces of the very large Inoceramus pinniformis.)

2 Pit 17: Little Weighton (Zone of Hagenowia rostrata - the local equivalent of Micraster cor-anguinum of the south.)

The highly typical Inoceramus involutus can usually be found in the flinty chalk here.

3. Pit 18: Little Weighton (Zone of Micraster cortestudinarium)

Walking up the railway cutting to the tunnel mouth it is usually possible to find plentiful specimens of the zone fossil and a fairly varied and typical fauna besides.

4. Pit 38: Kiplingcotes "1" (Zone of Holaster planus)

We should at least find the strange sea-urchin Infulaster excentricus which occurs there regularly and in better preservation than anywhere else in the county.

5. Pit 35: Rifle Butts, Market Weighton (Zone of Holaster subglobosus and the Red Chalk)

If time allows it is always worth a look here to try to find another of the minute Belemnocamax boweri, of which probably less than a dozen examples are known, four or so of them from this section. Structurally this locality is interesting, since the pit is at the crest of the Market Weighton Structure, and the preserved section shows the thin Carstone and Red Chalk (Cretaceous) lying on top of the Lower Jurassic Lias clays, with all of the Middle and Upper Jurassic, and Lower Cretaceous missing. [editor's note - Rifle Butts is now a SSSI and collecting is not permitted]

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