Fossils of the Rhaetian Penarth Group

Palaeontological Association Field Guide to Fossils No 9

Edited by Andrew Swift and David M Martill

Over the years (this guide was published in 1999), PalAss has create a wonderful library of guides to, usually, UK fossils, which the professional and amateur can use to identify and learn about the fossils they have found or want to find.

Fossils of the Rhaetian Penarth Group was the ninth published by Palass and covers the eponymous Rhaetian Penarth Group, which includes the former Westbury Beds, Cotham Beds and White Lias.

It crops out in a narrow strip from the Devon and Dorset coast to the mouth of the Tees, and is particularly well known from the exposures along the Bristol Channel. This diverse suite of late Triassic sedimentary rocks is internationally famous for the fossils that it yields, most notably from the bone beds.

The guide aims a comprehensive coverage, with an introduction to the geology, a brief history of palaeolological studies and aspets of the sedimnentology of the Westbury Formation.

It also coantains separate chapters written by different experts in their field, covering:

  • The bone beds of the Westbury Formation.
  • Foraminifera.
  • Gastropods.
  • Bivalves.
  • Arthropods 1: crustaceans.
  • Arthropods 2: insects.
  • Echinoderms.
  • Other invertebrates.
  • Conodonts.
  • Fish.
  • Tetrapods.
  • Trace fossils.
  • Plants.

The guide is illustrated with black and white photographs of specimens from all major UK public collections of Penarth Group fossils illustrated on 26 plates and 30 text-figures. It is aimed at the amateur collector and will be of use both to collectors who want to know more about these fossils, as well as geology students.

So if you want a great guide to what you can collect from the London Clay, this guide is definitely for you.

Fossils of the Rhaetian Penarth Group, edited by Andrew B Smith and David J Batten, The Palaeontological Association, London (2002), 374 pages (paperback), ISBN: 0901702781

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