Kilchoan Fossils

Kilchoan is one of the few places on the Ardnamurchan peninsular where the aspiring fossil hunter has a good chance of discovering some ancient marine life. The fossil remains of marine Cephlaopod molluscs, such as ammonites and the belemnites, which inhabited the warm tropical seas can be found the Jurassic limestone and shales around Ormsaigbeg and Kilchoan Bay.

Belemnites belong to an extinct order of squid-like cephalopods that existed from the Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous. Typically, only the elongated and bullet shaped rostrum (guard) is preserved in the rocks. Belemnites are thought to have been predated upon by ichthyosaurs, large marine reptiles that thrived in the seas during the Mesozoic era.

Ammonites are also an extinct group belong to the class Cephalopoda, which became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, some 66 million years ago. Unlike the belemnites, they had a coiled shell with multiple internal chambers, with the cephalopod inhabiting the outer chamber. The shells of ammonites are similar to extant species of the genus Nautilus, a pelagic marine mollusc found in the Indo-Pacific. The coastal bedrock around Kilchoan Bay contains some fine specimens of these wonderfully coiled ammonites, long fossilised in the ancient sedimentary rocks.

Take time to discovery some of these fossil treasures along Jurassic coast of the Ardnamurchan peninsula.