Sorry. Would have discussed the hunt earlier, but I’ve been busy with one thing and another since we got back.
Anyway, both days went great, and the Gilwern Hill locality was teeming with Trilo’s! Honestly, I challange anyone to go and NOT find some. The most common species is Ogyginus corndensis, and they can be found in all sizes- from absolute tidlers to occasional monsters several centimetres long. Thanks should go to Pete Lawrance for showing me the tricks to Trilobite hunting.
I’ve just bought his new book, “Trilobites of the World” (also by Sinclair Stammers). The book shows that there were many other species of Trilo’s to be found at Gilwern Hill, such as Ogygiocarella, Primaspis, Anebolithus simplicior, Meadowtownella (really wish I could’ve found one of those- they look very cool, especially with the fringe of spines), the Asaphids, Bettonolithus chamberlaini and Trinucleus abruptus, and Protolloydolithus.
I won’t be able to blog for a few days after this Friday as I’m going up to Conwy, North Wales, and won’t have internet access. I’ve checked my Geological maps of Southern England and Wales, and apparently, many of the rocks in the Conwy area are Lower Ordovician. There are also Visean- aged Carboniferous Limestones.
Does anyone know if Trilobites (even if rare) can be found in the Conwy area?
As for Sunday’s Yaxley and Kings Dyke hunts, well Craig (naturally, as he’s lucky) hit the jackpot (testimony to how jammy he is) and found a slightly- distorted (due to compression of the Oxford Clay on top of it) HUGE Ichthyosaur vertebra- complete with the processes on the top. After that, there was a mad buzz for 20 minutes while everyone began frantically excavating, hoping there’d be more of the beast to be found. No such luck. I’m telling you, its a good thing he whisked it away sharpish as half of us were plotting on ambushing him when we reached the cars later on (all in good humour of course). Beside the Ichthy bone, there were literally thousands of Genicularia worms, some belemnite fragments (mainly Cylindroteuthis), bits of driftwood, and also the occasional ammonite whorl fragment found at Yaxley.
me, and several other members got completely lost on the way to the Kings Dyke nature reserve, and ended up in the working brick factory and workers car park instead (at least there were toilets). Still, everyone got there sooner or later.
We didn’t have much time for fossil hunting though, because the heavans opened, and (to be blunt) we got piss wet through and chilled to the marrow. The hunt was cut short. At least there’s always next time.