Astonishing Discovery: Giant 115 Million-Year-Old Fossil, Weighing 111kg and the Size of a Car Tyre, Found on British Beach - Media News 48

Astonishing Discovery: Giant 115 Million-Year-Old Fossil, Weighing 111kg and the Size of a Car Tyre, Found on British Beach

A giant 115-million-year-old fossil weighing 111kg (17 stone) has been found on a British beach.

Fossil hunter Jack Wonfor, 22, recovered the huge ammonite – an enormous shelled creature, which is as big as a car tyre – on the Isle of Wight.

With the help of friend Theo Vickers, 24, the men extracted the fossil from a rock, and carried it off the beach to the car park in a rucksack.

The specimen is the ‘biggest and best’ Mr Wonfor has ever found.

The ammonitoceras ammonite was discovered in shingle on the remote shores of Chale Bay, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Dinosaur Island’ because it is rich in ancient remains.

Ammonites are extinct sea creatures and part of the mollusc family, such as sea snails.

Fossil hunter Jack Wonfor, 22, discovered the ammonite in shingle on the Isle of Wight

The fossil dates back more than 100 million years, and weighs 111kg (17 stone)

The incomplete fossil dates back more than 100 million years, when the area was a warm coastal sea teeming with life, including ammonites, nautiloids, fish, sharks and marine reptiles.

Mr Wonfor, co-founder of the organisation Wight Coast Fossils, will now prise away the surrounding rock to reveal the rest of the fossil.

Megan Jacobs, of Wight Coast Fossils, said: ‘This ammonite is one of the biggest and heaviest ones collected from Chale Bay, weighing almost 18 stone.

‘It’s the biggest ammonite Jack has ever found.’

She said the men managed to chip away some more of the surrounding rock to reduce the weight.

She added: ‘Jack put it in his rucksack and carried it up the cliff to the car. The plan is to get the ammonite prepared by removing all the rock to see how well preserved it is inside.

A normal-sized ammonite sits on top of the specimen that Jack Wonfor discovered

‘Although it is a huge specimen, it’s not a new species. It will likely end up in the Isle of Wight museum collection in the future, but for now Jack is enjoying his find and the challenge of preparing it.’

The discovery comes several months after a nine-year-old schoolboy found a ‘very rare’ 200-million-year-old fossil on a beach walk with his father.

In March, Glenn Morris, 38, took son Eli on a day out to the beach to hunt for fossils together

But Eli made a rare discovery when he spotted a preserved ammonite in the cliff face.

The rocks that form on the beach and cliffs are from the Jurassic period dating back up to 200 million years.

The prehistoric mollusc find measured a foot wide at Llantwit Major beach in the Vale of Glamorgan – and experts said its size was unusual for the area.

Eli, of Birchgrove, Swansea, said fossils were ‘interesting and cool’.

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