Jurassic Coral Fossils at Ringstead

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These photographs all show fossil corals found in boulders on the beach at Ringstead Bay in Dorset, England. They date from the Jurassic Period and are embedded, along with numerous other fossils, in the Ringstead Coral Bed which is the topmost layer of the Ringstead Formation (that in turn is at the top of the larger Corallian Formation).

Whilst I cannot say for certain exactly which fossils each image portrays, I can say that there are four corals known from this rock bed. These are Thecosmila annularis, Thamnasteria concinna, Thamnasteria arachnoides, and Protoseris waltoni. It is highly likely that the pictures show details of the colonial Thamnasteria genus and I think both species are represented here. I will being going to my local museum to check the identifications with their reference collections. Thecosmila is a larger solitary coral so can be excluded as a possibility for these particular fossils..


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5 Replies to “Jurassic Coral Fossils at Ringstead”

  1. Thank you..but I don’t think it’s justified. Although I have a long-standing interest in natural history, Jessica’s Nature Blog reflects my own learning process as I try to find out more about what I see around me. I search in books, on-line, and examine specimens in detail and then write it up. That is why some of my comments and identifications are tentative and I welcome input from those who know more about the subjects.


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