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Examples of Rostellarium
The marine shells of the London Clay confirm the inference derivable from the plants and reptiles in favour of a high temperature.
These fossils are accompanied by a sword-fish (Tetrapterus priscus, Agassiz), about eight feet long, and a saw-fish (Pristis bisulcatus, Agassiz), about ten feet in length; genera now foreign to the British seas.
These zoological results are curious and unexpected, since it was imagined that we might look in vain for the carnivorous trachelipods in rocks of such high antiquity as the Great Oolite, and it was a received doctrine that they did not begin to appear in considerable numbers till the Eocene period, when those two great families of cephalopoda, the ammonites and belemnites, and a great number of other representatives of the same class of chambered shells, had become extinct.
Out of 224 species of univalves obtained from the Minchinhampton beds, Mr. Lycett found no less than 50 to be carnivorous.
One bed is filled with large leaves of a species of fig (Ficus populina), and of a hornbeam (Carpinus grandis), the strength of the wind having probably been great when they were blown into the lake; whereas another contiguous layer contains almost exclusively smaller leaves, indicating, apparently, a diminished strength in the wind.
The thickness of the marls is ten feet, and vegetable matter predominates so much in some layers as to form an imperfect lignite.