East Mersea Fossil Finds
Did you know that 300,000 year old fossils such as monkey, bear, tusked elephant and bison have been found in the East Mersea cliffs?
It is not unusual to find sharks teeth on East Mersea beach along with small mammal fossils.
The power of the sea has worn away some of the soft sands and gravels, leaving a cliff behind the beach. Many fossils have been uncovered as the cliff has eroded.
Further west, hippopotamus remains have been found, but this has been below the level of the beach.
Researchers speaking at the British Association Festival of Science in York in 2007 said that fossil evidence suggests that Macaque monkeys lived in London, notably Essex. The range of the monkeys extended as far north as Norfolk three quarters of a million years ago. However, then ‘it was a bit warmer, maybe a Mediterranean climate.’
At higher latitudes, there would not be enough daylight in the winter for the foraging, so the range of the monkeys would be restricted to the south.
So next time you walk along East Mersea beach, see if you can find a fossil!
Read more here at Dougal Urquhart’s Wildlife Blog.
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