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Du pain, du vin et des oursins..... (Bread, wine and sea urchins....)

The trips in this report date back to the family’s spring holiday along the Atlantic coast in Northern France during the second week of May.

So today I figured it was about time I post a trip report…..

This time we made camp a little further south than during our X-mas 2007-trip.

Despite an infestation of mice, which kept us awake at night and made us leave early, about halfway through the trip, we did get out three times to hunt for echinoids.

One trip was in between Luc- and Lion-sur-Mer, between some of the landing beachheads during D-day.

Besides some more nice brachiopods like those we already had, we didn’t see any echinoids other than those depicted on a beach-side bulletin board. I later found out a busload of Germans had hit the beach a week earlier….. go figure.


Any way, I got some good tips form a fellow Dutch echninoid-enthousiast concerning scarcely collected beaches a little north, between Le Havre and Dieppe.

My son said he had good vibes concerning one particular beach so we hit that one twice.

First time we went there, we first had to get our bearings and only found some broken tests of Micrasters among the broken blocks. But after about an hour I found a huge block that had fallen from the cliff face which had not only lots of broken tests strewn across the surface but also a couple of newly uncovered and – more importantly – still whole ones. We labeled the block as the “Victory Block” and started knocking out the whole echs, ever so carefully. Since I remembered someone stating that blocks like these contain numerous echs inside, we kept on hacking at it with sledge hammer and chisel despite the hot and humid weather. In the end, over two trips we found some 15 nice Micrasters and on the 2nd trip I found a nice Echinocorys as well. We were already on our way back to the car when I spotted it close to the ramp that provides access to the beach and right beside some holiday makers.

Most of the echs are still waiting for prepping as I lack proper equipment. The tests are easily damaged, especially the tubercles, even when scrubbing away the last remnants of the hard chalk with an old toothbrush, as my son found out. So I don’t have many pictures of prepped echs, but I do have some “ground shots” and scenic shots.

Location North Atlantic Coast - Somme and Seine Maritime ar, France

Date Added6/22/2008

Junior is all set, despite the warning signs, hoping to find his 1st perfect Micraster. Will he succeed this time?
Heading down to the beach through a narrow gully.
Looking back up the way we came. Anything we find we will have to carry up there....
The access point to the beach.
Our first find, a perfect Homo playmobilensis.
Enough rubble to go through and keep us busy for a while.
The "Victory Block".
A broken and still intact Micaster, side by side on the surface of the block.
Same,now as close-up.
Getting the Micrasters out was hard work.
This particular specimen was already sculpted free by nature, all I needed to do was knock it from the block that held it.
Junior did indeed manage to find his 1st perfect Micraster. This is a shot of the unprepped specimen.
And this is the prepped specimen. Way to go, junior!
The last minute find: a nice Echinocorys.
Not fossil (yet): baby crabs.
A panorama shot, construed by merging several other shots. There sure are worse places to hunt for fossils.....

X-mas 2007 along the rugged Atlantic Coast of Northern France
X-mas 2007 along the rugged Atlantic Coast of Northern France

Family Fun - 6/24/2008
Reviewer : Daryl from Maryland United States
Total Rating : 10
Awesome outing, and best of all you could enjoy it with your son. Great pictures. Great Post! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree  4 of 5 voters agreed.





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