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King Echinocorys

Well, I got a mail last week from the dragline operator to inform me he had been working on the echinoid-layer. So if I would like, I was welcome to try my luck! Me wanting to come was not the problem, but work and a bad, persistant cold were. That and the cold wind. So I had to bide my time a bit, but did managed to get out there the other day.

How did I do? Well, the newly exposed layers looked promising. Not a footprint to be seen, so I still had first pick. Guess the weather had kept other from hunting as well. Anyway, the pickings were poor. I found only some 10-odd echs up there on the upper ledges, with 1-2 worth keeping. The rest I dropped of with the quarry-owner, for kids, schools and hunters from afar.

Next, I decided to check out the material that had been removed and thrown down 3-4 ledges, all the way down to the bottom of the quarry. Along the way this material gets mixed with material from other, fossil-poor layers, so I did not have high hopes.

Still I walked around and found several echs, most in much better condition than those found up on the ledge. Picking them out is a bit hard, as they tend to be smudged with chalk, so I try to reach out for my "zen-state" and focus on shape rather than color. It is hard sometimes this way, to distinguish a ech-shaped piece of chalk from a true echinoid, but over time I think I got the hang of it. Still I always check out places anew after some good showers and always find some specimens that I missed earlier on.

So enough small talk; why the title "King Echinoid"? That's because looking for odd-shaped clumps of chalk my eyes were caught by a big clump. Picking it up and feeling how heavy it was I knew I had finally found one of those rare and really big specimens. I first thought of taking a shot of the smudged ech @ home to show you how they look when found in the field, but ....... I was weak. I just couldn't wait to see whether it truly was as perfect as I thought it was under all that chalk. So I already cleaned it in a pool in the quarry.

So now I have my King and Queen......

Some hard data: 9 cm wide, 7 cm high and 29 cm! circumference. Weight: 0.7 Kg!

Location Oupeye-Bassenge-Vise area, Belgium

Date Added11/20/2007

King Echinocorys posing with an average size commoner.

Friend or Foe?
Friend or Foe?
Queen of Hearts
Queen of Hearts
Echinoids from the Upper Maastrichtian
Echinoids from the Upper Maastrichtian





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