Sunday, July 27, 2008

Successful Summer Fossil hunting - a 55 million year old shark tooth

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Not that it has anything to do with XML - This summer I did a short Fossil hunt with my family on Fur (da: Fossiljagt ved Stendal Høje på Fur). Which took place approximately here.

Hidden or you might say preserved in the diatomite (kieselgur) (da: Moler) are million year old fossils. It was generated about 55 million years ago at the bottom of a big sea, which also covered the area, in which Fur and Mors are situated. The “moler” consists of a mix of fine clay and an inconceivable amount of microscopic diatoms, which lived, died and sank to the bottom of the sea back then.

I was immediately caught by the Jurassic Park feel and got lucky enough to find what was the remaining print of an shark tooth. According to the guy from the museum it should be similar to a Porbeagle. It's not unique but it was the first this year and they normally find around 5 each year though some are smaller.

I left it for the museum since they surely could put it to better use than I. Here's a couple of fotos, first a view of the diatomite block:

And a closeup on the most visible part:

It was my first time as a Paleonthologist and probably not my last try at it. Trying to grasp that I found and held in my hand a print of a life form known today that was more than 50 million years old was truly stunning.