of the area around Staithes, North Yorkshire.
around Staithes was formed during the period of the Earth's history
known as the Jurassic and Cretaceous. The Jurassic and Cretaceous
periods cover a time period of about 140 million years. To give
you some kind of time frame, the disappearance of the dinosaurs occurred,
roughly at the end of the Cretaceous period, so in other words, a lot
millions of years ago this area was a tropical delta where layer after
layer of sediments were laid down, it is these layers of sediments that
form the cliffs that we can see today. These layers of rock tell us that
the climate in Staithes, millions of years ago, was hot with periods of
wet and dry. The fact that Jet can be found within these layers
indicates that the area was once covered in coniferous forests and as
the type of fossils found here are marine this tells us that this
tropical delta that once existed here contained salt water.
of Fossils ....
the ammonite fossils that we know today were once marine animals with a
coiled shell, this shell gave the ammonite protection as well as
allowing them flotation and movement. Most of the shell was filled
with gas or fluid, and by controlling these the ammonites could move
were also once marine animals, belemnites had a body like the modern day
squid, but unlike the squid, belemnites had an internal skeleton, it is
the tail of the living belemnites that we find today as a fossil.
the common mussel, that is served today in many seafood restaurants, is
a bivalve, the bivalve have two hard curved shells which protect the
soft body inside. The two hard shells are called valves, and it is
these valves that are found today as fossils, when these bivalves were
alive the two shells were held together by a hinge but as this hinge was
made to tissue it means it's more common to find them fossilized separately
are again a marine animal, fossilized crinoids have been found that
indicate crinoids existed 300 million years before the dinosaurs and
some types of crinoids have survived up to present times. While
these are a marine animal they look more like a plant and are usually
to the sea bed while live.