This unexpected find includes beautifully preserved fossils of marine animals dating back about 183 million years.
A unique site with dozens of perfectly preserved Jurassic marine fossils has been found on a farm in the English county of Gloucestershire.
A group of paleontologists have discovered the remains of fish, ancient marine reptiles, squid, rare insects and other animals.
Fossils dating back approximately 183 million years seem to be frozen in time – they are preserved in three-dimensional calcareous nodules.
Concretions in geology are called compact dense deposits, which, like a capsule, envelop a certain core. In this case, fossils of ancient animals served as such nuclei of nodules.
The fossils come from an inner rock layer that was last exposed in the UK over a hundred years ago. Now excavations at this site provide a unique opportunity to collect and study the fossil remains of animals that lived in the depths of the Jurassic Sea, the bottom of which now serves as a pasture for English cows.
Fossils like these are rare in the interior of Britain, the scientists say. The samples they collected could serve as the basis for research projects for many years to come.
Among the best finds, researchers identify several fossil fish with perfectly preserved details: scales, fins and even eyeballs.
One of the most impressive discoveries was a fish head preserved in three dimensions (not two, like many other prints), belonging to the Jurassic fish genus Pachycormus. The fish looks like it’s about to jump out of the limestone, paleontologists write.