Today I was helping Mummy with a job. We went to Shugborough and visited Dinah, who works there. She helped us take pictures of our pigeons. On the way back, we went to a fossil place. It was a quarry (edit by Mum: West Quarry), and we've been there before. When we got there, we had a snack, and then we walked down. We found two types of fossils, and lots of each. One were brachiopods, they are in this picture. We also found lots of crinoid stems.
We found these snail shells at the quarry. One of them is really pink - can you see?
Today when I came home from school, there was a parcel! When we opened it, there was this great ammonite! It was a present from Naomi. She read my website and decided to give it to me. Thank you very, very, very, very much! It is like an ammonite on top of an ammonite!
Today we built a stone age hut. Yesterday before yesterday we made lots of bones and tusks and vertebraes out of white clay, and they had to dry. And this morning before school, we looked for sticks. When we came home, we made it. We made some paint for the protection and sprayed it with a toothbrush. Then we used clay to spread it for the ground. We put the sticks in. We made the guard bit from the stones so nothing gets in. The stones are from Creswell Crags where we we went to look at the caves.
Then we put the cover on. In the stone age, it was maybe grass. And then, we glued the bones on.
We got the idea to make the hut from a book. I am going to get a stone age man, and he can live in the hut.
Martin Whyte is an expert in dinosaur footprints, and he showed us some. Sometimes they are very hard to see, and you have to be an expert to find them. I'm going to be a fossil expert when I grow up. I need to find a lobster and put it in a special potion, too!
Martin also had a big dinosaur footprint. It was from a sauropod. Sauropods are what you call the group of the biggest dinosaurs, and they all ate plants. They had to eat plants nearly the whole, whole day, just to have enough energy for their big bodies. Martin said that experts estimate how big a dinosaur is by looking at the footprint, and then they say it was about four times as big as that!! I wanted my own big dinosaur footprint, so we took a photo of a drawing with a scale that said how big it was, and Mummy drew a grid on paper and then a larger grid and made it big, and then we cut it out and put it on cardboard and traced it, and Mummy cut it with a special super-sharp knife. It even folds in half, just like Martin's!!
This week-end, we went to Hornsea. We stayed in a hotel and they had a big, big wheel from a ship, for steering it.
We went fossil hunting, and this time, we had all the tools, because Daddy had some for his birthday. We had a trowel for digging in the lumps that had fallen from the cliffs (they are made from clay, and stones are really hard to get out, even if they are already sticking out). We had a hammer for hammering rocks to see if there are any fossils inside, and bags to put our fossils in.
We found lots of these. They are called gryphaea, and we had to check how to say that, but people also call them "Devil's Toenails", that was from when they didn't know that they were fossils. In the picture, there are two types - the ones that were in the cliffs were all rough, and the ones that were on the beach were all smooth.
We didn't find many ammonites, but we found a few, and here are some pictures:
We also found some fossils in the big rocks that were put up as a sea defence wall, but they were too big to take them away with us. You can see a gastropod in this picture. How would you pronounce gastropod?
We found lots and lots and lots of colonial corals. I like saying that word! We found so many, and a humongous one - in the end, we left some behind for other people to find!
When we got home, we were cleaning all the fossils and sorting them out. We have a few what we don't know if they're fossils, can you help us? We will put them on the "Are These Fossils?" page.
On the way home we bought what we need to make the dinosaur footprint, and soon we can show you it and tell you about the dinosaur footprints we saw when we visited Martin Whyte. When we were in Hornsea, we kept looking for a T-Rex skeleton, but we didn't find one!
I said I was going to tell you about the fossils that Martin gave me as a present, and here they are. One is a trilobite eye - it is special because you can see all the tiny, tiny dots that make up the eye - it is so old, and you can still see them all! It looks a bit like an eye from a fly or dragonfly! You can see more of the fossil on my Bought Fossils page, although we need to change that name, because these we didn't buy!!
Martin also gave me two corals - they are called rugosa corals, and they grew 'solitary', that means one by one. They look like ice cream cones! They can be in different sizes, and we took a picture of the top of one, because it has a pattern - you can see the whole corals on the other page.
AND he gave me a sea urchin. He showed me a real dead sea urchin, and it was all light, but this one was all heavy, because it got filled up with stuff and then it all fossilised, and now it is made from chalk. That's what I use to write on my blackboard, but I won't write with this one!
I still need to tell you all about the dinosaur footprints!!
Today, we met Dr Martin Whyte. He works at the University of Sheffield, and he said he would look at my collection of stones where I don't know if they're fossils. We have learnt lots and we can't write it all at once, so we'll do it a bit at a time. We took this stone, and Martin said it's not a fossil, it is a bryozoan. It is an animal that digs itself into the rock, and then it grows and it can't get out. There are lots of bryozoans, here is a picture - they are 'moss animals':
We also learnt about brachiopods. They are not the same as bivalves, they are different. They have two shells, but they are symmetrical different to bivalves.
And he said that our vertebrae was probably from a plesiosaur. We love that we found that!
Now, another day I'm going to tell you about fossils I got as a present from Martin!!! And we looked at some dinosaur footprints, too, and we're still looking at pictures of them on the internet, and we're going to make a massive dinosaur footprint pattern like Martin had. And he had a lobster in a special potion that was not a fossil, but it wasn't alive, but we forgot to take a photo. It was brilliant that Martin had time for us and told us lots and gave me fossils. When I grow up, I want to be a fossil expert working for a university!!
Yesterday, I was looking for fossils in the walls on my way to school. I didn't find any, but Mummy showed me this video - fossils really are EVERYWHERE!
We have been reading some more messages. Hazel suggests that we send pictures of our fossils to the Natural History Museum in London. That sounds like a good idea, but we are meeting a fossil expert on Thursday, and we'll tell you all about it. But we'd love to go to the Natural History Museum on holiday.
Dianne and Chloe are saying they are going to come back and see what new things there are happening - after Thursday, we'll be writing about what the expert says, and then you can come back!
Today Mummy, Daddy and I visited Creswell Crags. First we were inside where we saw a fossilised dragonfly. Only four fossilised dragonflies have ever been found in England, and two of them at Creswell Crags. We also saw some bones from the caves. There were bones of hyenas, lions, horses, rhinoceros and mammoth. There was even a hippopotamus! We didn't know all these animals ever lived in England, but now we do!
We then had a walk and looked at all the caves but we couldn't go in them and have a proper look around.
On the way out we bought a fossil surprise bag. We sat on a rock outside and opened it. Inside there were two fossilised shells and some shark teeth. The fossilised shells were from the Jurassic period, about 190 million years old.
Hello, my name is Toby. I am five years old, and I want to be a palaeontologist. I really like fossils, so I'm writing down everything I do with fossils! My Mummy is doing the typing until I'm a bit older, but she writes everything I say.