Commonly found fossils
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‘Ammonites look a lot like coiled snail shells, but they were actually sea predators. They became extinct at the same time as the dinosaurs. You tend to find them in sedimentary rock, which is rock that has been laid down in layers underwater. Quarries and cliffs where this rock is being exposed can be good places to find them.’
- Rod Hebden
Although these commonly found fossils do look like the claw of an ancient animal or, indeed, a devil, they were created from oysters that once lived on shallow sea beds.
‘We get a lot of fossilised sea sponges and sea urchins along the South Downs. The sea urchins can be as small as a Brussel sprout or as big as a grapefruit.’
- Nick Walford, assistant ranger
Places to go fossil hunting
Discover indoor and outdoor places where fossil-hunters can uncover ancient treasures.
A beginner’s guide to fossil hunting
Top tips to help families and fully-grown fossil enthusiasts get started.
More about fossils
Find out more about fossil types on the National History Museum website.