The great cemetery of marine fossils

It is maybe 167 million years old. It was found by some amateur paleontologists. It’s about the British Neville and Sally Hollingworth. You have just found one of the largest fossil reserves in the country. How did you do it? Using satellite imagery from Google Earth. The large marine fossil cemetery appears to contain a large number of different specimens. When the analysis is done, there may even be new species.

The great marine fossil cemetery may have species never described.
The great marine fossil cemetery may have species never described.
Check cards

“We were looking for new places to explore when the lockdown ended. We usually do this in certain specific areas. We scroll through Google Maps in the areas we know fossils have been discovered. That’s how Sally explains it.

However, the Hollingworths could not even imagine the scientific significance of the site they had found. Not the huge number of specimens it was hiding.

Subsequent excavations were carried out by paleontologists from the Natural History Museum. They found hundreds of well-preserved fossils of rare species. There were sea lilies, sea cucumbers, feather stars and starfish. They usually decompose shortly after death. They must be buried in low-oxygen sediment immediately to preserve them.

There are many species in excellent conservation status.
There are many species in excellent conservation status.
Underwater Pompeii

The postures of the petrified animals were examined. The creatures inhabited the area in the Middle Jurassic or 174 to 164 million years ago. The creatures were found to have been buried alive during an underwater landslide. The unusual place was baptized as Jurassic Pompeii.

“The state of preservation is absolutely incredible. These little critters are 167 million years old! ”Says Sally.

The large cemetery with marine fossils isn’t the only thing that has been found by these people. Neville found a mammoth skull in 2004. Rate the discovery as “unique”. Scientists believe some of the fossilized remains may belong to species never described before.

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