We quickly met success along the beaches at Lyme Regis and nearby Charmouth, finding dozens of ammonites, pieces of belemnites
, bits of ichthyosaur rib and sea lilies, and even a globelike sea urchin.
Our study reveals that Nectocaris is similar to known members of the modern cephalopod group, which includes squid, octopus, cuttlefish and the nautilus, as well as common fossils such as ammonites and belemnites
, which are now extinct.
Alexandre Brongniart and his son Adolphe, Anselm-Gaetan Desmarest, John Samuel Miller, and Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville worked out the precise stratigraphic ranges of individual fossil groups such as trilobites, crustaceans, crinoids, belemnites
, and land plants.
It was the finest of numerous fossils unearthed during the hunt involving 75 people, which also included the leg bone and vertebra from an Ice Age deer and belemnites
, the remains of squid-like creatures from the Jurassic period, some 150 million years ago.
As Fortey introduces us to our painstakingly catalogued ancestors--many of which have yet to be named--he introduces us to an equally eccentric cast of scientists: an expert on belemnites
(the fossils of squid-like creatures), a botany curator who courted prostitutes, an expert on parasitic screw worms who prevented their spread across Africa, a fish expert who discovered a lost Mozart manuscript.
Chapter Two is about the scientist and tools they used to study the belemnites
eaten by the giant ichthyosaur.
And while you're hardly likely to stumble across a T-Rex dropping or footprint, small marine fossils - including ammonites, belemnites
and bivalves - could easily turn up.