Fossils from the Triassic Period are extremely rare and often only tiny fragments are found. The river sediment deposits of the Otter Sandstone Formation provided the best conditions at the time and they have yielded some exceptional finds, like that of the Rynchosaur, otherwise known as the Beaked Lizard, examples of which can be found in Exeter Museum.
Rynchosaurs were herbivorous reptiles that grazed on the wetlands and lush vegetation growing alongside the Triassic desert rivers.
The Jurassic and Cretaceous seas were full of fish and formed a large part of the diet for the predatory air breathing marine reptiles. It is rare to find a complete fish skeleton, but some extraordinary specimens have been found, including one draped over a piece of fossilized wood.
The unique cross-bedding patterns within the Triassic cliffs show how layers of sediments were deposited on a river bed or as a sand dune. Some of the best places to see cross-bedding occur at Orcombe Point, Ladram Bay and Budleigh Salterton.
The Chit rocks have protected the seaside resort of Sidmouth from winter seas for countless years, but have since worn away becoming less effective. A coastal defense scheme has since been put in place to protect the town, comprising of offshore rocky breakwaters placed at an angle to the town.
Jacobs Ladder Fault
The fault at Jacobs Ladder is where the underlying Otter Sandstone Formation has been forced up, breaking the conformity of the Mercia Mudstone Group along this part of the coastline.
Jacob's Ladder Fault
The fault at Jacobís Ladder is where the underlying Otter Sandstone Formation has been forced up, breaking the continuity of the cliff sediments along this part of the Jurassic Coastline. The cliffs directly either side of Sidmouth consist of the younger Mercia Mudstone Group.
Coastal Visitor Centre
Axmouth Sea Discovery Centre
Town/Village or Area:
Tourist Info Centres
in this Area: Rock Pools
The Chit rocks are one of the biggest and best places to go rock pooling in East Devon. Its close proximity to the amenities of the town makes it ideal for families.
Interest: Jacob's Ladder
Jacobís Ladder provides an interesting way to access the beach west of Sidmouth.