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Last Updated: Wednesday January 18 2006 15:34 GMT

Landslide reveals big fossil haul

Ammonite found in Dorset [Credit: Dorset County Council]
Loads of fossils have been revealed following a massive landslide in Charmouth, Dorset.

The remains of ancient animals have been found in the cliffs after being embedded there for around 185m years.

At least 17 people were rescued after Saturday's rock fall, and two boys were pulled free after getting stuck in mud.

So far fossil hunters have found lots of ammonites - which look a bit like sea snails. Experts hope some marine reptiles will also be uncovered.

The landslide - the biggest in the area for 30 years - closed a section of the Charmouth coast, but most of the area has now been reopened.

But coastal officials are warning fossil hunters to pay close attention to the signs telling them to keep off some parts of the beach.


And they also warned people to be very careful that they do not get cut off by the high tide.

Map of Dorset area

Charmouth is part of the Jurassic Coast, England's only World Heritage Site, and is one of the best places in the country to look for fossils.

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