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Fossil hunting in Ireland

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,468 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    The first one is a brachiopod(spirifer?), the second is a solitary rugose coral, likely caninia, the third might be the same, or parts of a crinoid? The original deposit looks like a death assemblage, IE when the animals died they were washed around in the surf and collected in spots, so it's all jumbled up(looks quite compressed too). A life assemblage is where they got preserved where they lived kinda thing. Cool finds though ME. Nice one. :)

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,214 chopper6


    I found some very nice plant fossils(no idea what species) in some slate that was included with cheap coal many year ago.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,468 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    It's not much and a crappy pic, though all I could salvage from the attic... :o

    294572.jpg

    A few corals, brachiopods, molluscs and ferns, all from the carboniferous period. I have more, but god knows where they're scattered.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,214 chopper6


    Wibbs wrote: »
    It's not much and a crappy pic, though all I could salvage from the attic... :o

    294572.jpg

    A few corals, brachiopods, molluscs and ferns, all from the carboniferous period. I have more, but god knows where they're scattered.


    I must say that mollusc shell at far right is my favourite...would taht have been something similar to a nautulis?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,468 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    Not really C, more like the snail end of the mollusc family.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭ Dr Strange


    Hi all,

    I used to go fossil hunting when in primary school in Germany. We had a great cliff outside our house and I was able to find trilobites. Unfortunately, I never got back into it after my primary school days and would like to pick it up again and was wondering if there are any good sites to visit in North Wicklow? Any trilobites in Ireland? Sorry of this has been answered before, I admit, I didn't go through all the threads/topics.

    Thanks for any help :)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,468 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    Preusse wrote: »
    Any trilobites in Ireland?
    You might find some if you sought out Devonian and Silurian rocks here. There are some, but IIRC the outcrops are tiny, covered by soil. There were a few trilobites that survived into the carboniferous(which is the vast majority of Irish fossiliferous stone), but nowhere like the numbers of previous periods. They were very much on the wane by then, only down to a few species. As a kid I looked in vain for one. It was my "grail" fossil.. Nearest I got was a tiny part of one. They were a small type as it was.

    The natural history museum has one alright, found here. In of all places north Dublin. Going on memory it was found in Feiltrim(sp). I do recall going out there on the bus :) but it was all built over. I seem to recall reading that there had been a quarry there in the past, but this was long gone. This location seemed to be the motherlode for me at the time, as going by the labels in the cases it was where a large chunk of the natural history museums fossil collection had come from, donated by some Edwardian/Victorian collector.

    Maybe along the malahide coast? It would be close enough and in fact it was where I did find that fragment of one. I also found a small section of fish vertebrae and a crinoid calyx. Things I never found elsewhere. Might be worth a further look. I'd say few do, or have since the Edwardian bloke collected way back in the day. Now if any north Dubliner knows of the remains of said quarry, or similar outcrops...

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,214 chopper6


    Wibbs wrote: »
    . In of all places north Dublin. Going on memory it was found in Feiltrim(sp). I do recall going out there on the bus :) but it was all built over. I seem to recall reading that there had been a quarry there in the past, but this was long gone. This location seemed to be the motherlode for me at the time, as going by the labels in the cases it was where a large chunk of the natural history museums fossil collection had come from, donated by some Edwardian/Victorian collector.

    .


    I have access to maps dating back 150 years,incuding this area.

    It is possible that the motherlode of fossils is still accesible...if not research further..maybe find out which company performed the building work...they might remember where they dumped the "spoil" from the project.

    I recall at a funeral meeting a gentleman in his 60's lamenting the fact that he asa council member was tasked to fill in a Holy Well where Donaghmede is now.

    He talked about feild walking sites and finding flint arrowheads and scrapers.as i have done myself and i can still remember where i found them(under houses too sadly)


    Sometimes the best kept records are the records people file in thier noggins!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭ Dr Strange


    Thank you Wibbs! I suppose I would have a better chance if I travelled back to my hometown and go to that cliff again to find trilobites. The one I found was very small and I can never remember what happened to it, kept it in a box but don't know where it is.

    The funny thing was that I was introduced to the fossils of this cliff by an older schoolboy. Up until then we used the cliff face for climbing around and playing. So one day he took me to the cliff, each of us had a little hammer and he said to hammer away. We were maybe about 20 metres apart from each other when I started hammering.

    You didn't have to do much as the stone was all in thin layers and these were easily loosened for chips to fall out. I still didn't know what I was actually supposed to look out for and got bored quite quickly. So I started calling over to him in excitement that I found something and he immediately ran over to me to find out what I had found only for him to discover that I was spoofing. I did it a couple of times. I was a terrible messer at 8 years of age (still am).

    So, by the time that a real fossil fell into my lap (literally) he wouldn't come over anymore and I ran to him to show him that I really found something. It was my first (and only) trilobite. Then when I was 10 or 11 I went on a youth group holiday to the North Sea and found fossil sea urchins as well as the tips of some early squid or something. In German these were called "Donnerkeile" or Thunder Wedges according to German Norse Mythology. We also looked for amber and found amber when visiting Eastern Germany and the Baltic Sea.

    To come back to what you suggested, yes, I see I would have to travel but I would prefer something around North Wicklow or Wicklow in general or even South Dublin. Just for convenience, you know? Are there any groups out there that go out?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,468 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    Preusse wrote: »
    I was a terrible messer at 8 years of age (still am).
    :D
    In German these were called "Donnerkeile" or Thunder Wedges according to German Norse Mythology.
    Yea they're called something like "lightning stones" all over Europe. I'd imagine in the Irish language and folklore there are probably similar type names for Irish fossils. There are so many of them to be found particularly out west you would think there would be.
    To come back to what you suggested, yes, I see I would have to travel but I would prefer something around North Wicklow or Wicklow in general or even South Dublin. Just for convenience, you know? Are there any groups out there that go out?
    Not that I know of P. TBH I don't even know if it's still legal to do so in Ireland. Wicklow isn't going to be great for fossil bearing rocks. It's mostly made up of volcanic action igneous rocks, granite and the like. There must be some outcrops of carboniferous rocks though, as I used to find the odd good coral specimen while fishing in Bohernabreena reservoir at the top of the Dodder river. Access to a detailed local geological map might point out some areas for further investigation.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,015 rccaulfield


    I know Feltrim quarry well, drove past it it to school for years, used to be able to climb up the side of it and a fair bit of rock is accessible there but unsure the way it is now.
    Anyone ever find any land animal fossils or our we stuck with sea creatures in Ireland everywhere? While i've a few carboniferous fossils myself found in north Dublin they dont have the same appeal a land animal fossil would have for me?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,214 chopper6


    I think a meetup might be required here!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 58,468 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Wibbs


    BYOH. Bring your own hammer. :D

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Derekob


    Hi, is there a fossil collecter group of sorts in Ireland or is anyone meeting up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ Step23


    A meet up could always be organised! Though I'd highly recommend joining the Irish Geological Association, I use to be a former member etc they have trips and evenings where you can show your finds, interesting things etc

    S


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Derekob


    Step23 wrote: »
    A meet up could always be organised! Though I'd highly recommend joining the Irish Geological Association, I use to be a former member etc they have trips and evenings where you can show your finds, interesting things etc

    S

    Thanks for that


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