As rare as shark’s teeth

There’s a girl I know who rolls her eyes at the Gok Wan Acolytes / Underneath her bed there lies a collection of ammonites

Fix it so she dreams of me, Half Man Half Biscuit

A Sunday morning spent seeking fossils at low tide. A quick cycle along the front, past dogs and families and passing rain clouds. An investigation into mud and shell and sand. And a brief intrusion by what on first glance appeared to be an escaped piglet.

Turns out it was a dog.

I lack the patience for scrabbling in the muck. I’m with Eddie Izzard on this one: speed archaeology is the only archaeology for me, and I put palaeontology in the same category.

But while I was clambering on rocks and staring out to sea, Ruth persevered, and was rewarded with a fossilised shark’s tooth.

This belonged to a sand tiger shark, who would have been keeping it real chomping on abundant marine life 54-56 million years ago, when southern England was up near where Spain is today. The Kent of the time lay beneath a warm, shallow sea, and no fish and chip shops were open and would continue to not be open for a long, long time.

The best spot for finding fossils is at low tide on the beach just below Beltinge, a suburb to the east of Herne Bay on the way to Reculver.

Happy hunting.

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