Staithes may lie within the North York Moors National Park but this area could also be named Jurassic Park as all the geology is of the period. It is commonly called the "Dinosaur Coast"
For millions of years, this was once a shallow delta in a tropical palaeoenvironment where the slow moving current laid down layer after layer of the Lias sediments. Various forms of marine life appeared and disappeared but one in particular seems to have thrived and evolved here and that was the Ammonite.
Over very long period of time some forms of life evolve in a distinct manner where the earlier forms never reappear. This fact makes their remains very useful for determining layers of a particular age. If you find the fossils of one of these indicative specie in two different locations one can be quite sure that the layers in which they were found were laid down during the same geological period. It is very lucky that the Ammonite provides these indicative specie.
The quantity of fossils in this area and the spectacular exposure of the Jurassic Lias rocks makes Staithes an important site for both amateur and professional geologists.