Prehistoric Arundel

Most of the Earth’s chalk rocks formed in vast oceans during the Cretaceous Period, between 65-95 million years ago. High sea levels and the warm climate of the Cretaceous saw Sussex covered by warm, shallow seas. A wide ecosystem thrived in these seas; sea urchins, ammonites, belemnites, crinoids, molluscs and large marine predators including Mosasaurus have left fossil evidence of their co-existence.

How is chalk made?

Huge clouds of microscopic plankton called foraminifera lived in the sea during this time. When they died their shells, made of calcium, settled on the seafloor, building up over millions of years to form chalk, entombing the remains of dead Cretaceous marine wildlife.

How is flint made?

Numerous sponges that thrived in the warm Cretaceous seas, had silica (glass) rich ‘skeletons’ that decomposed into ooze before recrystallising over time to form nodules of flint. Other plankton called diatoms had delicate glass structured ‘shells’ and left immense layers of microcrystalline flint within the thick chalk.

 

SO WHAT'S THE REST OF THE DEAL?

Burgers
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