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Macropis europaea
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Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Geology Site Account

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Wix bypass (excavations for), WIX, Tendring District, TM148279, Historical site only

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Site name: Wix bypass (excavations for)

Grid reference: TM148279

Brief description of site:

Historical site only. Discovery of London Clay fossils during excavations for the A120 Wix bypass in 1977.

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Details

The London Clay Sea was home to a large number of species but perhaps the most curious was the pearly nautilus, an animal with a spiral chambered shell, the descendants of which now live in the southern Pacific and Indian oceans. A very fine fossil nautilus from the London Clay was donated to Colchester Natural History Museum in 1977 and is understood to have been found during the building of the A120.

There is a likely looking cutting at TM 148 279 (south of Wix Lodge) but the museum have no precise locality. Roger Hewitt, a specialist in London Clay nautiloids, has identified it as Euciphocera regule from the London Clay (Division B1 Isselicrinus horizon) (a fragment of a stem of the crinoid Isselicrinus is present in the aperture of the shell).



A splendid fossil nautilus from the London Clay in Colchester Natural History Museum; found during excavations for the Wix bypass in 1977 . Photo © G. Lucy

 

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