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Found 245 results

  1. Rock or fossil?

    Hello, one of my brothers brought this to me after digging it up in our garden. He believes that it's a dinosaur egg but I'm not sure. We live in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia if that helps.
  2. I donated 20,000+ Eocene marine Virginia coprolites to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in 2015. There have been several formal presentations given on these coprolites to date and a major paper is in final review. To see numerous coprolite pictures and read about/see previous presentations check out the below TFF link: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/50059-what-ate-what/& A copy of the latest poster presentation given on these Virginia coprolites at the GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA on September 22, 2019 is below (If you click on the below picture which will open it in a new window and click on the + symbol twice, you can read the text): Marco Sr.
  3. Strange Preservation

    Here's a strange one. I found plentiful piles of what I thought were casts and internal molds in the iron-rich St. Mary's clay of Virginia last year. Loose clam fossils riddled blocks of talus. I was able to wiggle some out of their ancient resting places without s much as scratching the matrix. Generally that's because the shell disintegrated, leaving a void between the mold and the cast. If you look closely, however, what looks here like an internal mold isn't. The sculpture on the surface is clearly the outside of the shell. If it were the inside, you would see round protrusions where the ligament attached to a depression in the shell, not concentric ridges. Shown here is the most distinct of my specimens, but not the only one. Any thoughts? Mercenaria campechiensis, Miocene, VIrginia
  4. Hello from Virginia

    I have always loved history and old things from the past. I have been a Civil War relic hunter on and off for 40 years or so. I don't get to do that much anymore because pretty much all the land I used to hunt has been bought up by the Government or the Civil War preservation people and you can no longer hunt there. A couple of my old hunting buddies got me into Native American point hunting along the banks of the James and Pamunkey rivers and for awhile that was fun but all they wanted to do was hunt the same spot over and over looking for that perfect point. We would hit a bank and everybody would take off walking the shore line and most of the time when they got back I was still right in the same spot scratching along the bank with a bag full of rocks, not many points but a lot of rocks that looked like arrowheads, to me anyway. Every now and then they would come back with that perfect point and the bragging would begin and they would always give me a hard time about my bag full of rocks. After awhile I had collected a pretty good sized rock pile and decided to make me a rock garden in front of my shop. While moving all those rocks to their final home I began to notice some strange markings on some of them and after looking closer I noticed how much some of the sharper pointed rocks looked like teeth from some kind of animal or fish. I had found shark teeth before walking the banks of creeks and streams but most were tiny little things, some of these I was finding were much larger and looked like regular rock rather than the normal looking shark teeth we more commonly found. When I would try to explain my thoughts they would laugh and just tell me to, 'drink another beer, and you will think more clearly in the morning'. LOL I then decided I'd find me a new hobby but ever time I walked by that rock garden I would always see something different than I had saw the last time I looked. One day on an outing with my oldest son I dug up this rock that really looked weird it was covered with mud but I could tell there was something different about it so I threw it in my bucket. Yeah, I'll admit I am hooked as I no longer carry that little bag tied to my belt loop I now carry along a couple 5 gallon buckets. Besides, that little bag would get so heavy it was hard for me to keep my pants up. Anyway, when I got home and dumped out my buckets on the ground so I could wash off some of the mud and as soon as I sprayed that one funny looking rock with the hose this shape of what looked like a snake popped out like a neon sign. Once clean I could tell that the rock was a sedimentary type rock by the layers that it showed. There were some dark layers and in-between were some white layers. Anyway, the top of the rock that had the white rocks on it looked like it had been carved away to make the shape of a snake. Boy!! I really got laughed at when I let the boys know what I thought I had found. They decided there was no amount of beer that would ever make me normal. In my limited knowledge about fossils I knew that when a fossil forms only the bone or more solid parts of animal would fossilize and become rock so I knew, or I thought I knew that the whole snake would not be presented the way this one was. So I decided that some poor Indian one day stumbled onto this rock and a light bulb went off in his head and he said to himself, "you know Tonto, you haven't given the little lady back at the Tee Pee a present in a long time. Maybe I'll sketch up a picture of a snake on this rock and give it to her for her birthday. Then she can replace that awful looking picture of her mother she has hanging on the Tee Pee wall. Old Tonto was always thinking of ways to keep the peace back at camp. Sadly, he probably should have been paying more attention to his surroundings cause along came a big ol bear and he jumped out of the woods just as Tonto was putting the finishing touches on his masterpiece and ate him in one big bite. Thankfully, the bear spit out that rock right there on the edge of the bank before he headed off back to high country. I'm going to post a pic of this rock for you guys to take a look at and hopefully someone can tell me if my thoughts are anywhere near something that could be possible.
  5. Rapp creek hunting

    Made two trips to the creek while worrying about Dorian; one trip to the beach, but not much there (picked clean by Labor Day visitors? Only one olive shell and a few bleached, worn small teeth.) I pooled the stuff collected in trips from the same general area in the creek. One of the trips I used a slightly coarser screen, followed by a window screen in response to @MarcoSr excellent recent post "What are you missing????". Since my teeth are micro-sized to begin with, I was sure that there would be lots of new stuff to sort through. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in my initial characterization of the "fines". I cannot see well looking about in the creek, but am very near-sighted and think I can see most of what is there at home (but will retry with a different substrate spot; the spot I was digging was fine gravel and shell bits). I do see more smaller drum teeth. Some bone bits and a few angel shark teeth (may have damaged the roots on them as well with the double screening, always wondered if screening was why my cowshark teeth were often rootless?) No nurse shark or cookie-cutter shark teeth yet, but still intrigued. The two trips were mostly sand tiger teeth, mostly rootless or small root spikes. Some were glossy and nice but I'm guessing the gravel takes its toll. A couple of verts, a small piece of a bonito nose(?), a bunch of angel shark teeth (a few with broken triangular bases; I stood them up for the scan). A bunch of drum teeth (and small round rocks, not shown). One ugly worn cowshark tooth. One for sure small mako, and a few that I cannot see any serrations on (micro mako teeth?) More serrated triangular teeth than usual for me, mostly gray sharks, but one worn-on-the-tip hemipristis. Two tooth pieces, one relatively flat with what looks like hemi-serated edge of enamel, and one heavier, triangular edge with finer serrations that I think, hopefully, is a smallish megalodon. If so, this is the first meg that I have seen from the creek since a kid found a big one thirty years ago there (teeth were much more plentiful, but meg teeth were always rare there).
  6. rapp creek hunting

    Combined the results of two trips to the freshwater creek (five hours total of hunting). Good variety, but no size and lots of broken stuff. One place I was digging in fine gravel and found several vertebrae, few intact, skate teeth, lots of drum "teeth", many broken, and three angel shark teeth, one broken. Also found small rootless tiger shark tooth and a badly broken small mako. The other spot, more sand and shells (probably should start collecting them, just fragile) yielded mostly sand tiger teeth. More overlap than I note here, but gives the picture. Found three sand tiger symphysials, highly unusual (wish they were cowshark! ) Did find two broken cowshark teeth, one each spot).
  7. I started collecting a new Eocene research site in Virginia this year. I have written landowner permission to collect this site. I’m posting a few quick pictures of what I found in a single recent trip to this site. When I’m at the site, I dig formation out and sift it in a ½ inch mesh sift in stream water. A window screen catches what falls through the ½ inch mesh sift. I take home the material caught by the window screen, break it down further through washing/drying cycles, and finally search the residue for fossils. I spend about three hours per trip sifting at the site and another 3 hours or so breaking down the material that I brought home. I want to show what I find at the site in the ½ inch sift versus what I find in the material that I bring home. For those of you who sift at a site but don’t catch what falls through your sift, I want to show you what you could be missing. Every site is different. However, unless you bring some of the smaller material home to check it out, you will never know what you are missing. The below picture shows what I found in my sift at this site in my ½ inch mesh sift during this trip. I could use a ¼ inch mesh sift at the site to find more at the site but that dramatically increases my time looking in my sift at the site and the smaller mesh size tends to damage more (cusplets, root lobes, etc.) of the specimens that fall through the mesh. Not a bad trip with some turtle bone and shell, a few sand tiger teeth, a few large bony fish vertebrae and some large fish coprolites. For the record I usually find a few more shark teeth in my sift than I did this trip. However, all of the pictures below show what I found at home in the material that was caught by the window screen, a very large number of high quality fossils. For size reference the white paper plates are 9 inches in diameter and there are two gem jar sizes, 1.75 inches and 1.125 inches in diameter. Nice quality shark, ray, bony fish, sea snake etc. specimens: Damaged or lower quality specimens: Mostly odd bony fish bones: Bony fish vertebrae: Shark and ray vertebrae: Bony fish jaws and partial jaws: Ray teeth and ray dermal denticles: Cookie cutter tooth and a few nurse shark teeth: Fish coprolites: Lignitized nuts/seeds: Shell casts: If I only sifted at this site and didn’t take home material caught by the window screen look at all of the fossils that I would be missing each trip. What are you missing???? Marco Sr.
  8. Non-shark Tooth ID please

    I found this yesterday at Westmoreland State Park in Virginia, which I think is Miocene stuff. Can anyone ID?
  9. Unidentified Virginia vertebrate fossils

    These are some fossils that I couldn't quite identify while out looking around an area of land in the Nottoway river drainage today. The first appears to be some sort of bone, my guess is a vertebra potentially belonging to a crocodile, though I am very new to this and am quite possibly incorrect in this guess  Next up is a decent sized fragment of a shark tooth that I initially thought to be a young megalodon, but then wasn't quite so sure after noting the presence of what appears to be a slightly weathered cusp on the side of the tooth that is still present, alongside the fact that the tooth appears to have a slight curvature to it Any insight is well appreciated, thanks! 
  10. Decapod claw or pseudofossil?

    99% sure this is just a rock, but the shape just keeps me wondering... Found along the beach of Stratford Hall in Montross, Virginia on 7/6/19. Any thoughts?
  11. rapp beach hunting

    Quick trip by the beach. Has been dry, was hoping the water would be clear. The water was clear but didn't find anything outside the surf. A few small pieces of shrimp coprolite burrows, a 'wormed' enamel 'medium'-sized mako, and a few others. Hot and dry. Thunderstorms predicted over the next few days, maybe will stir up the beach?
  12. Scallop

    From the album Virginia Miocene

    Chesapectin nefrens Westmoland County, VA Choptank Formation Middle Miocene C. nefrens is fairly common in the Choptank Formation, but the level of sculptural detail preserved in this particular specimen just blew me away when I gently brushed off the loose sediment.
  13. Scallop

    From the album Virginia Miocene

    Chesapectin nefrens Westmoland County, VA Choptank Formation Middle Miocene C. nefrens is fairly common in the Choptank Formation, but the level of sculptural detail preserved in this particular specimen just blew me away when I gently brushed off the loose sediment.
  14. First attempt!

    Went to Virginia a few months ago and came home with a few Chesapectin nefrens encased in solid rock. This one was only exposed as a ring of shell material in a ball of clay, calcite, iron ,broken shell and who knows what else. Normally I prep things with soft brushes, dental picks, a water pick, and very gentle fingers. That wasn't cutting it this time and I had to get aggressive. I spent 3+ hours with a rotary tool and zero practice. It's no museum piece, but it's not horrible. I could simply collect the same species, from the same member of the same formation, at a much closer spot, where the matrix is much looser, but I gotta learn sometime. Suggestions for next time?
  15. First attempt!

    Went to Virginia a few months ago and came home with a few Chesapectin nefrens encased in solid rock. This one was only exposed as a ring of shell material in a ball of clay, calcite, iron ,broken shell and who knows what else. Normally I prep things with soft brushes, dental picks, a water pick, and very gentle fingers. That wasn't cutting it this time and I had to get aggressive. I spent 3+ hours with a rotary tool and zero practice. It's no museum piece, but it's not horrible. I could simply collect the same species, from the same member of the same formation, at a much closer spot, where the matrix is much looser, but I gotta learn sometime. Suggestions for next time?
  16. Chippokes State Park VA

    Not a very exciting trip, but we went out to Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry, VA for Father’s Day to have a walk on the beach and relax, and I found a nice coral, a red mako tooth, some other small teeth, and a bonito nose.
  17. rapp creek hunting

    A little under the weather (and having truck trouble) but took a break for a few hours hoping to find more shrimp coprolites after recent thunderstorms. Humid, but not particularly hot, lots of frogs. Despite lots of digging in last week's spot, not much mixed in the gravel, mostly small broken stuff (one vert, one angel shark tooth, some drum teeth). I always wonder if I am 'mining' an area of the stream bed that was picked over 30 years ago. Finally found a mottled tiger shark tooth, relatively rare on that site. I have some small pieces drying but no strong suspicions of shrimp coprolites. Before leaving I hit an older spot which has been good for cowshark teeth. First screening found a broken ecphora, a pretty rootless cowshark tooth and a broken cowshark tooth. On the way out checked two other spots, maybe next week?
  18. Petrified wood?

    Hi, today I found what looks to me like petrified wood! Was wondering if someone could confirm? (found in south east Virginia)
  19. I got to make my first trip to Westmoreland State Park (WSP) today. I hit the beach around 1330 today (low tide was ~1430). As expected...it being a Saturday... the place was packed. Most of the traffic was on the first 1/3 of the beach, so I opted to walk about halfway down the beach and setup shop. I can't say that I had lofty expectations, as this was only my second fossil hunting trip. I was surprised to find my first tooth within about 10 minutes. I had multiple sifting sorts (or whatever you want to call it) that had 2+ teeth in them. One had three teeth. It was interesting to see how the teeth were clumped in a spot. I'd find 5+ teeth in a 4' radius in x < 5 minutes and then not find any for 15+ minutes while hitting an area a few times that size. For only two hours work...I was happy with the results. The bottom row includes some junk, to include a couple that I'm guessing are not teeth. Please disregard the amateur hour sorting. The largest one of the bunch. As far as condition...this little guy is the best one of the lot. The badly broken one here...is this a Mako? You can't really make it out, but the serrations on this one look really nice.
  20. Break from the heat today, so hoped to enjoy the weather at the beach. Unfortunately the surf was washing small black wood particles up the length of the beach, and that negated the low tide. The water was turbid and I couldn't see behind the 'black surf' which was crashing more than I like. I only found a badly weathered cowshark tooth in the first hour, but being stupid and stubborn I kept at it and found a shrimp coprolite burroe, a pointy something (?), a skate tooth and six other small shark teeth (lost two at home, probably will step on them). The weather was gorgeous so I decided to try the freshwater creek, which has been hunted forever by the neighbors. The first spot, lots of gravel, found a broken cowshark tooth (with a root), a shrimp coprolite burrow (the sites are five miles apart so they must be common fossils), several skate teeth, a small pointy thing (not like the beach one), a vert, and a bonito nose (some other stuff still drying). But not many teeth (?) Tried another spot (mostly sand and shells) and found lots of teeth, but all small (another broken cowshark tooth, three angel shark teeth, and many sand tiger shark spikes and gray shark teeth, and a tiny mako or two. Beautiful day and lots of exercise! Birdsong impressive! Saw no amphibians today. Hope some of the stuff that is drying is real interesting, if not it will end up on my driveway.
  21. Went out to the beach, water was up and dirty, wind had been from east pushing tide up into the river, and the moon wasn't creating a low tide. At least I got some exercise, and a sunburnt neck and shoulder, and a dozen nondescript sand tiger teeth, small, no cusps, beaten. Decided to try a Rapp creek in the woods. Kids had been active over the Holiday weekend. A good sign that they are interested, people have been hunting roughly the same spots for over 50 years. Lots of frogs out, water low, HOT but while more humid than the beach and no breeze, some shade from the sun. Worked two spots for over two hours. More gravel and rocks than the more usual shell bits and sand, hoped for some bigger teeth but about the same as usual. No angel shark teeth and only a few drum teeth (maybe I missed them?) Only one vert, some skate teeth, a few glossy steinkern pieces, some "whale" bone and Tilly bones, lots of sand tiger spikes, a few gray , requiem and lemon shark teeth and possibly some small non-serrated mako? (broken). Finally found a cowshark tooth, hadn't found any in a month? Fun trip.
  22. Hi, We are doing a unit on geology/paleontology in our homeschool with the fossils we find. I was wondering if anyone knows the difference between the Aquia and Nanjemoy formations. I know wikipedia is not perfect but I am not an expert and it lists them as separate formations albeit both from the Paleogene. I have read Paleocene/Eocene border for the Aquia formation. Is that correct? The Nanjemoy formation I had not read about before today. Is it just the same thing on the Maryland side of the River instead of the Virginia side? Thanks for the help, Kate
  23. Hello everyone! I have been a fossil hunter for two years now and wanted to share just some of my favorite finds so far! All were found in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Thanks for looking!
  24. Hello everyone! I have not posted in a while because I have not been on any trips recently. However, I just recently had the opportunity to go on a Fossil collecting tour in a Miocene exposure in VA. I was able to meet the helpful and friendly @SailingAlongToo (thanks to him I was able to learn about this fantastic opportunity). My mom, dad, and best friend spent Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 collecting fossils along a river. On Saturday, my mom found a killer posterior meg using a kitty litter scooper in a gravel bar after not finding anything for 1.5 hours. I found two crocodile teeth and some hastalis teeth around 1.5 inches. My best friend found some hastalis teeth, and my dad found a large “cookie” Fossil of a vertebra I believe. On Sunday mom found some nice hemis and an item that could not be readily identified. I found half of a juvenile meg and a posterior meg tooth. My dad found a larger gator tooth, and my best friend also found some hemis. Here are some pictures, thanks for reading!
  25. rapp creek hunting

    A perfect weather day anyway! "My" spots had been over-run, so started digging with a garden trowel at the base of an undercut bank, hoping roots might hold a cowshark (near where I found my only cowshark symphyseal years ago) or bigger (mako) tooth. More gravel than shells so guessing near middle of the stream bed in the past (nothing big, so not too distant past!) Did find three ecphora (not prized 30 years ago); the biggest did not survive a chunk of bone in the bucket alongside (may try to piece back together; a sickening loss, though missing its tail). Four verts (often seem to find in gravel), some round Tilly bones, 30+ small teeth, nothing exceptional, a stippeled piece of vertebra(?), skate teeth, small broken stinger . Lots of concretions, possibly some shrimp coprolites in a piece (will wait for total drying); the first ones I found were in the creek, since then all have been on a river beach. Bird eggs gone from nest (hopefully as fledglings), a black rat snake, many different frogs, a salamander (eft? ran on shore), and some interesting birds, that I didn't recognize. Wish I found more, but happy with a short hunt (two hour), not a difficult trip.
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