Trace fossil, burrow

Here you can see burrows and resting traces on the underside of a siltstone layer. They were made by an animal that burrowed into the muddy sea bed, then later its burrows were filled with silt. The soft underlying mudrock came away from the harder siltsone when the rocks became exposed to erosion.

The species name, wattonensis, reflects the location where it was first found, Watton Cliff near Eype. So the trace fossil has a full scientific name, but we do not know which animal made it. If it had no hard parts, then it is most unlikely to have been preserved. If it had hard parts, then they should, in theory, be found in association with the burrow, but trace fossils can be highly perplexing things that don’t always follow such logic.

Find out more on the trace fossils page.

Common name

Trace fossil, burrow

Scientific name

Imbrichnus wattonensis


Trace Fossils


Forest Marble

Time period

Middle Jurassic


166 million years

Where found

Eype Mouth

Found by

Paul Ensom in 1978


Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number