Our oldest fossil!
This is almost certainly the oldest specimen in this entire database! The brachiopods are contained within a pebble made up of 450 million year-old Ordovician quartzite, a sandstone cemented together by silica. During the Triassic period, about 240 million years ago, these hard rocks formed mountains in the area we now call Brittany, France. Rivers drained from the mountains, carrying rocks with them that were rounded into pebbles and eventually deposited as the Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds.
Please note: The pebbles fall out of the cliffs, so for safety’s sake, always stay away from the base of the cliffs. A permit is required to remove pebbles from Budleigh Salterton beach and there is a heavy fine for removing pebbles without one.
Find out more on the brachiopods pages.