The finished specimen
This Hildaites murleyi is an old find from the long gone clay pit Grimmen in northern Germany. The ammonite was exposed on one side of the geode and was only preserved as a negative except for the living chamber. But except for the centre it was preserved with shell and fully inflated. For this reason, the exposed negative was filled and reinforced on the back so that the preparation could be done from the other side.
As expected, the preparation proved challenging, as the hard rock separates well from the shell for the most part, but the shell is extremely fragile. In this case, the situation was complicated by the fact that the shell of the living chamber is slightly weathered. It consists of several layers, which had already separated from each other and the innermost layer had become crumbly. Therefore, after a few millimeters had been exposed, it had to be repeatedly secured and tiny broken-in areas filled with glue. The matrix removal also had to be done slowly and gently to prevent the shell from breaking. With a lot of patience the ammonite could finally be uncovered in all its glory, including some beautiful surprises.
Fossil: Hildaites murleyi MOXON 1841 det. Ansorge
Locality: Grimmen (Germany)
Formation: Lower Jurassic, Lower Toarcian, Falcifer-Zone
Diameter: 13 cm (5.12 inches)
Work required: 40 hours
Collection: Karsten Obst