The Great Giant Clam Hunt – with Richard Edmonds

Saturday 7th October 2023 2:00PM – 2:00PM
Location/Venue: All Saints Church All Saints Road Sidmouth EX10 8ES

The Lowest Jurassic rocks around Lyme Regis are well known for fossil clams but very few good examples have ever been collected. This is partly because it is very hard to find good examples before they are smashed by the sea.

The clams are well known and easy to find, Plagiostoma being the most prolific. They are followed by Antiquilima, a heavily ribbed clam that responds really well to the iron powder. Then there is Pinna, the ‘pen’ or ‘fan’ shell which has almost completely been ignored, but for a very good reason; it is really, really hard to find examples that are not far too damaged. The game changer is now the iron powder air abrasive which produces extraordinary preparation results that are impossible to achieve any other way, (apart from a few truly skilled preparators), and at a very reasonable cost. The picture shows shows Pinna shell, the culmination of five years’ hunt.

Richard talks us through his search for these fossilised creatures from the past. He has been working along the Jurassic Coast for many years and is now ‘pretired’, taking a well worthwhile 35 year retrogressive step in his career by acting as a fossil guide for Lyme Regis Museum.

The drawing is a thank you letter to Richard from a kid on a fossil walk from the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre in the early 1990s.