Archive for May 26th, 2009

The Drawbacks of Working in the Golan Heights

May 26th, 2009

combined052609Today we could visit only one Jurassic site in the Golan. The others were in a militarily sensitive area to which we were not admitted, even after a long conversation with the commanding officer and classic geological special pleading. (“But our American guest, a famous geologist, has come thousands of miles just for these important rocks!”)

So, the fossil of the day will be a Jurassic belemnite from the top bed of the Zohar Formation. These are among the simplest of fossils (basically a calcite dart) but they are remnants of sophisticated cephalopods which are relatives of the modern squid. The fossil belemnite “guard” acted as a stiffening and weighting device inside the soft body.

Belemnite from the Jurassic Zohar Formation.  Note sliver of coin on the right for scale.

Belemnite from the Jurassic Zohar Formation near Neve Atif, The Golan. Note sliver of coin on the right for scale.