Photo 1. Photo 2.

This palm-sized rock is from the beach at Eccles-on-Sea (North Sea coastline).

I can see four types of material:

  1. A brown, slightly translucent, 6cm tubular fossil(?) that I can mark with a steel blade;
  2. Coarse, light material--stained reddish-brown in places--that I can scratch away with a fingernail;
  3. Hard, dimpled, dark-brown material that I can't scratch (iron perhaps?); and
  4. Shiny black stone that I can't scratch.

I'm mostly interested in the fossil--if it is a fossil. Thank you. :-)

  • $\begingroup$ My first thought were plant fossils. I've just looked in my old edition of "British Caenozoic Fossils" and there's only one page of plant fossils - nothing matches anything you have. The BGS iGeology app puts most of that coast as "Crag Group - Sand and Gravel. Bedrock upto 5Ma. Dominated by shallow seas". Longshore drift is significant on the east coast- so it could be from elsewhere? I'm also wondering if the 'rod' is a belemnite - brought in by water or ice. (Belemnites are often common in British glacial till - despite being extinct long before the current ice ages) $\endgroup$
    – winwaed
    Sep 14, 2018 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ @winwaed this has given me lots to look at, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – jjs
    Sep 14, 2018 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ @winwaed it's difficult to see but one end of the fossil is tapered (see just above the "4" cm mark in the second photo)... which does seem to support the belemnite theory $\endgroup$
    – jjs
    Sep 14, 2018 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


The round one is a belemnite... The grid-shaped fossil is a bryozoan. Bryozoans were (and are) marine colony building organisms often encrusting shells and other hardgrounds in the oceans. There are also solitary bryozoan colonies, which form screw-like shapes.

A nice picture of a bryozoan similar to yours can be seen here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.