My 7 year old son found this fossil whilst cracking open flint in Deal, Kent. The fossil (assuming it is) looks like scales/cells/shell and is chalky. The oblong lines are raised and well defined and tough to the touch. It certainly looks like a natural biological pattern. It looks very a little smaller than a golf ball stuck in the flint. Its edges disappear under the flint with the appearance that it is a sphere. Be glad if anyone has an idea. Thanks[![enter image description here][1]][1]

[1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/ye4XU.jpg![enter image description here](https://i.stack.imgur.com/byNAu.jpg)enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ fossil identification questions require scale and images from multiple angles. the answer is it is probably not a fossil but just infilled cracks but with only this image it is hard to be sure. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 20, 2021 at 0:32
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ For close voters fossil identification questions are different than rock identification questions. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 20, 2021 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ I'm inclined to think of infilling, but echinoids (sea urchins) have been found in English chalk flint before. I would expect a different texture, and if you had the whole thing (or top or bottom), you'd see a five-fold symmetry. $\endgroup$
    – winwaed
    May 20, 2021 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ We wrote this guide if it helps you better describe the piece to obtain an answer $\endgroup$
    – user20559
    May 20, 2021 at 16:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Added some more photos with better lighting and a tape measure. Hope this helps. Thanks so much for taking time to have a look ! $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    May 23, 2021 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


That is a sea urchin (echinoid) or at least part of one. the pattern of plates is fairly distinctive. 2 rows of small plates alternating with 2 rows of large plates. I am not familiar enough with urchin phylogeny to give you species but you might be able ot get it from the biology stack.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Fantastic!! Thank you for answering our question. My son is over the moon :) $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    May 24, 2021 at 6:31

Definitely an echinoid (sea urchin) and they are often found in the flints in the chalk cliffs along the south coast of the UK. Seaford in Sussex is particularly well known for these types of fossils.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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