Patience paid off for fossil hunter Richard Edmonds, who had to wait five years to get his hands on this Jurassic era giant clam.
Richard said he first identified this pinna – pen or shell style fossil – three metres off the end of the East Cliff sea wall at Lyme Regis along with several other giant clams.
Richard, who volunteers at Charmouth Heritage Centre, said: “The trouble is all of these shells are very easily damaged as soon as they become exposed to the sea, but we can only find them once they are exposed.
“I first noticed there was ‘a big one’ out there about five years ago, but only through broken and fragmentary pieces and then, gradually, through smaller specimens that were successfully found and cleaned.
“After the very rough weather we’ve had, a great deal of rock had fallen off the cliff and I was wondering if I would ever find it when I did – and not just one, but three.
“All are broken to varying degrees and two have been repaired, but this is such a rare piece, it was worth doing. And the hunt is not over as I think there is an even bigger one out there with more decoration. I’ve only seen bits, but I have seen enough for another five-year hunt.”
The fossil was prepared for display by Alex Moore and repair colour matching was done by Tracey Barclay of The Old Forge, Charmouth.