Another Gryphaea from the Oxford Clay, this one is Gryphaea sublobata.  The thickness of the valve on this species is greater in relation to its shell size than the other Gryphaea species in these deposits.



The Oxford Clay contains many species of the rock oyster, Gryphaea.  This one is Gryphaea calloviensis from near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.


Encrusted upon a large shell is this Bryozoan colony forming a fine lace like structure.

The specimen is from Coral Bay, Cyprus, and it shows an amazingly intricate amount of detail.

The fine quality of the preservation is seen in close up where each cup would have held an individual filter feeding organism.

Viewing Fossils 3

Often, The best way to record a photographic image is with a digital SLR camera.  This camera has a 40mm macro lens fitted and the specimen is supported by a small steel folding knife to set it at the correct angle for the image.

The raw image shows the desk background and the knife support.  An alternative to this would have been to use a heavy fabric cloth as a background.  This image can then be extracted as a mask and dropped onto a coloured background using Adobe Photoshop.

To present this fragment of Ichthyosaur Jaw from the Oxford Clay of Cambridgeshire, the image has been transferred to a green background.  A shadow has been applied, using an additional layer between the image and the background, before merging all of the layers to give the final image.

Viewing Fossils 2

This Smartview 7000 visual scanner is in the Hereford Museum public gallery for general visitor use.  It has a fixed digital camera with a close macro lens and a moving specimen tray.  Focus and contrast are controlled by knobs on the apparatus head and the image is displayed on-screen.  The image can be captured on computer, but this viewer is set only to display the image to screen.

Here is an image of Gravicalymene aquilona, recorded on this type of viewing apparatus.

This CCTV scanner is produced by Humanware

Viewing Fossils 1

There are many ways to view and photograph small fossils.  One option is to use a digital microscope.  Just plug it into a computer and off you go.

This one is a Veho discovery WMS-004 which is at the low-end of the market for such devices.  It has a ring of lights around the image camera which can be controlled from a rotating switch at the top end.  The focus is controlled by a finger scrolling dial on the barrel of the instrument.  The visual display is seen on the computer screen.

Not only can you see the current image, but the previously captured images are also shown in a side panel.  A button  on the instrument captures the image for hand-held use.  If the microscope is in its mount, the image is captured by clicking on a screen icon.  The images are held in memory until they are saved to disk.

This image is of Crassatella sulcata, a small bivalve from Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire.  It is 7mm long at its widest point.

This digital microscope is produced by Veho


The Inferior Oolite bears many forms of ammonite.  This one is Oppelia fallax, a very slim shell with a complete body chamber in this specimen.  This fossil has been preserved with an iridescent outer shell, glistening with opal minerals.  This is a small specimen at just over 6cm across.