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Fossil hunting in Ireland

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  • Good call on Portmarnock beach. I actually live up the road from there. :)




  • Im an archaeologist and working up in the wicklow mountains I found some of the same at a significant height above sea level.




  • Hook Head in Wexford, if you do the cliff walk towards Slade lots of fossils to be found in the rocks about 500m from the lighthouse.




  • Sorry for the n00b question but this is something I have always wonderd..How come there are no actual dinosaur fossils in Ireland when there are loads in UK? Were we not all part of the same land mass millions of years ago?..Surely there should be fossils in Ireland aswell if we are the same age as the rest of europe?




  • Duff wrote: »
    Sorry for the n00b question but this is something I have always wonderd..How come there are no actual dinosaur fossils in Ireland when there are loads in UK? Were we not all part of the same land mass millions of years ago?..Surely there should be fossils in Ireland aswell if we are the same age as the rest of europe?

    For starters no one is really looking. Although partial remains of a scelidosaur and two potential theropods have been found here.


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  • Galvasean wrote: »
    For starters no one is really looking. Although partial remains of a scelidosaur and two potential theropods have been found here.

    Any links to info on them?..What theropods were they?




  • It's mostly down to the lack of exposed strata of the right time period that might contain dinosaurs. The sedimentary rocks here are mostly palaeozoic, with a majority being of carboniferous origin. Limestone coal etc. I am surprised there haven't been more discoveries of note in those time periods though. There is some of the right stuff dinosaur wise around Lough Neagh up north, cretaceous AFAIR. There could be more elsewhere undiscovered. I noticed a load of flint nodules on beaches around wexford which may come from later strata, but it may be under the Irish sea.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Duff wrote: »
    Any links to info on them?..What theropods were they?

    Alas, I have been unable to find any data online. As far as I remember they were found up north (as Wibbs mentioned).




  • I found loads around Lough Sheelin on the south west shore of the Derrysheridan Pensinula. Loads exposed or semi exposed in rock, some so exposed you could pick them off.
    sheelin2.gif




  • Dino fossils?


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  • Around sheelin I would have said carboniferous limestone. Sheelin has/had some of the best wild lake trout fishing in Europe which among other things was down to the limestone. The ph allows for bigger invertebrates, which in turn means bigger trout that eat them. Fishing there in the past I saw and collected a few fossils like Quint mentions.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • There was a vert palaeo conference in the national museum last week no less, part of which was some (limited) discussion of irish vert fossils. Basically as far as i remember all thats been found are amphibians/ small reptiles in the Jarrow formation near Castlecomer and a sauropod femur(maybe?) in the belfast area along with some dino footprints in a similar locality.
    Main problems are lack of access to the limited outcrops and simply no-one looking for bones really.
    Theres a world of invert palaeo around Ireland, plenty of corals around Howth head if thats of interest. The GSI should have some publications on the topic




  • mobby wrote: »
    Hook Head in Wexford, if you do the cliff walk towards Slade lots of fossils to be found in the rocks about 500m from the lighthouse.

    As far as I know that is a no-hammer zone. You can take home any loose fossils but you musn't forcibly remove them from the rocks. I know that there is nothing stopping you from blasting all the fossils out of the rocks and taking them home but have some respect for geologists or palaeontologists that may not have found them yet. They should be left for others to see. There are some very well preserved bryozoa and crinoids there, calyxes still attatched to the stem, but not the best on hook head.

    Have you ever been to Booley Bay? Ediacara fossils abound in this area.... also a not-allowed-smash-and-bring-home area. Some of the Ediacaran fossils are as big as dinner plates...




  • Around the west of Lougd Derg is quite good for Sponges, petrified wood, Bivalves and Brachiopods, as well as the odd Bryozoan (I think)




  • are there any fossil hunting groups in Dublin? I would like to get into folssil hunting and gain some skill, but dont know where to start.




  • I was on portmarnock strand yesterday but i didn't find anything.
    I searched among the stones and rocks on the north end of the beach beside the toilets for a bit.
    Am i missing something here?:rolleyes:




  • When I was into this many moons ago, I found portmarnock not too great TBH. The fossils weren't the most obvious and quite spread out. Certainly compared to other sites.

    I remember hook head being great for them. Got a fair few there. Used a hammer too, but this was back in the day and the hammer only loosened ones pretty close to falling soon anyway. Hey I was 13/14 so digging was well out of the question.:D I never disturbed any really in situ. My guideline was that if a swift kick wouldn't dislodge it then I wouldn't go at it with a hammer.

    Another good place was easkey in the west of ireland. Serious beauties I got there. At the point where the river runs into the sea there's a fossil coral reef laid out and easily seen in the sea polished rocks. Popular place among surfers now I gather.
    Outpost31 wrote:
    Have you ever been to Booley Bay? Ediacara fossils abound in this area
    Really precambrian/cambrian stuff? Cool Never knew they were there.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • I live near Portmarnock beach and have to admit (like Wibbs said) it's not the best. Everything gets scattered due to the violent and constant nature of the tide/waves there. Finding anything substantial is a case of sheer luck (moreso than usual).




  • Lots of beaches around my way - What exactly should I be looking out for?




  • Anyone know what type of varnish I can use on fossils? I have a few good one and I think a good coat of varnish would bring out the colours & detail.


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  • I have a map somewhere, with the locations and fossil types found in Portmarnock from when I was doing some feild work there. If I can can find it. Ill scan it and PM it to anyone who wants it.




  • starn wrote: »
    I have a map somewhere, with the locations and fossil types found in Portmarnock from when I was doing some feild work there. If I can can find it. Ill scan it and PM it to anyone who wants it.

    I would be greatful if you could send it to me thanks starn.




  • Had a very uneventful day in Louch Sheelin today. Spent a lot of time looking for a way on to the peninsula. Found no exsposed strata there, or anywhere else around the lake for that matter. With the exception of a limestone quarry which was closed and had high fences and big gates with even bigger locks. The day was a absolute disaster. Had it not been for 4WD I think Id still be stuck in the mud out there, So where should I of been looking :mad:


    Mary- Im still looking for that map. But when I find it Ill scan it and send it to you:)




  • ok thanks
    seems like fossil hunting is harder than expected eh.




  • Hi everyone , im looking for informaion for my nephw he is eight and obsessed with fossils.Im an archaeologist by trade but i would not know where to start with him??

    Are there any young fossil hunter clubs in Ireland?
    He lives in waterford and i know of hook head what is the etiqutte there?Finally i want to get him a "fossil collecting kit" for christmas, he is only 8 so nothing too serious or professional, any suggestions?




  • Gnar wrote: »
    Hi everyone , im looking for informaion for my nephw he is eight and obsessed with fossils.Im an archaeologist by trade but i would not know where to start with him??

    Are there any young fossil hunter clubs in Ireland?
    He lives in waterford and i know of hook head what is the etiqutte there?Finally i want to get him a "fossil collecting kit" for christmas, he is only 8 so nothing too serious or professional, any suggestions?

    Well if he's only eight he might enjoy one of those 'dig-a-dino' sets which can be got in most toy shops / art and hobby shops.

    Having trouble finding any info on Irish fossil clubs/societies in Ireland. I'll let you know if I fin something.

    edit:
    Here's a thread with some freebies you can send away for.
    http://boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055382276




  • Hi There I am also interested in fosil hunting if you find any groups or clubs could you let me know thanks.




  • fguihen wrote: »
    are there any fossil hunting groups in Dublin? I would like to get into folssil hunting and gain some skill, but dont know where to start.

    Me too, my bf and I would love a go! Anything around?




  • Am based in Dublin and would definitely be interested in something like that if it exists.


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  • What about Cork area??


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