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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ammonite research

‘Epifaunal worm tubes on Lower Lias ammonites’ is the rather daunting title of a research paper published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, which describes parasitic worms that can be seen on numerous fossil specimens in the Lyme Regis Museum’s collection. On the example shown here, the worm tube starts just above the point marked O in the ammonite’s umbilical seam, follows the umbilical seam for over half a whorl in the same direction as the ammonite growth, and then crosses the penultimate whorl where it is overgrown by the ammonite. It continues around the periphery of the ammonite and terminates well short of the ammonite aperture (the white bar indicates a scale of 5 mm).

You can read the full paper, with many more illustrations, on the Museum’s website.

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