Monday, 24 August 2009

Belemnite Ink Reconstituted

Recently, Dr Phil Wilby and his team were working to extract well preserved remains from a site near Christian Malford in Wiltshire for the British Geological Survey. The outcome of this extensive dig was to recover specimens of belemnite ink which has been reconstituted and used to write with.

This work mirrors the work of Joseph Anning in 1828 when he drew an illustration of a fossil skull of Dimorphodon macronyx using reconstituted belemnite ink from the Jurassic specimens found near Lyme Regis in Dorset.

The new work is significant insofar as it will allow the ink from the Wiltshire specimens to be analysed in detail - something that has not been done before.

The specimens used were classified as Belemnotheutis antiquus and were younger than the Anning Specimens. The ink was reconstituted in the same manner by adding ammonia to liquefy the solid ink sac contents.

The article in The Times reports that - "The specimen is now in the British Geological Survey collection in Nottingham. Part of the ink sac has been sent to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, for more detailed chemical analysis. "

Mary Annings Pterodactyle

The Times - 19 August 2009 Article by Simon de Bruxelles

The Times - 22 August 2009 Dave Martill's Comment

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