Specimen 1 before preparation
Close-up of the vertebra
Specimen 1 after preparation
Specimen 2 before preparation
Specimen 2 after preparation
Here are two pieces from the famous “belemnite battlefield”, each containing an ichthyosaur vertebra as a special feature. These are not easy to recognize while digging in the field – only the shape of the vertebrae can be seen between the belemnites. Isolated bones can be found from time to time in this layer, which is often collected because of the mass occurrence of belemnites.
The preparation was done with pneumatic gravers and fine air abrasive equipment. The matrix of the battlefield can usually be worked well, but almost always a sticky layer remains on the belemnites, which then has to be removed with extra effort. On one specimen, many belemnites lie in one layer, which is why they could be exposed very nicely together with the vertebra. Unfortunately there were only a few fragments of belemnites on the second specimen. In order to display the well preserved vertebra better, these partial belemnites were therefore removed or smoothed.
Fossils: Ichthyosaur vertebra and belemnites
Locality: Mistelgau (Germany)
Formation: Jurassic, Liassic, Toarcian
Diameter of the vertebrae: 2,5 and 3,7 cm (about 1 and 1.5 inches)
Work required: 9 hours