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Found 208 results

  1. rapp creek shells

    While I'm not into the shells, there are lots more of them than teeth or bones where I hunt. The big pectans (6-8") are common, as are giant tree oysters, and frilly oysters, which can be colorful. There are lots of ecphora pieces, yet few whole ecphora. A big problem with shells is transport; they are fragile. That said I am curious about what they are (scale is cm). I was told that the small tubular ones are tusk shells, but there are at least three types (and a worm-like empty tube). There is a multisided shell that is often in clumps next to or attached to barnacles (two towards the center). There are lots of "clams"; the four near the top are unopened bivalves (one on its side; most shells come apart in transit). The top left is a small frilly oyster bottom, below it, I think is a small frilly oyster top. I thought the top middle was also a frilly, but not sure. Don't know if the clams are all the same, just weathered differently. Curious if the three scallops are the same species as the big ones (i don't remember picking up the tiny one, stuck to something else?) I believe these are all fossil shells from the freshwater creek where I hunt mostly tiny shark teeth. Thanks for any ID help. I'll post a few beach shells soon, some may be fossils too?
  2. I haven’t posted a microfossil in a while because I’ve been spending the vast majority of my time studying extant shark and ray teeth to better understand fossil teeth. I’m also beginning to study extant mammal and crocodilian teeth. I and a good friend explored a new Eocene site in Virginia the beginning of February. Although everything was still pretty much frozen, even though it was a 60 + degree day, and most of the formation was like concrete, we found a small area where the formation was fairly soft. We took a sample of formation home just to see if it was worth going back. After washing, drying, and searching the matrix that I brought back I’m really glad we took that sample. In addition to a large number of really well preserved marine fossils, I found a small fossil partial mammal jaw. Eocene mammal fossils are very rare east of the Mississippi River in the United States. I sent the below pictures of the specimen to one of the mammal researchers that I’ve worked with in the past and he replied back: “Very interesting. Looks most likely to be a hedgehog-like insectivore, but I would have to see the original specimen to be sure”. I’ll be sending the specimen to him tomorrow for an in person inspection. Partial mammal jaw (3 mm X 3 mm X 1 mm): Marco Sr.
  3. rapp creek hunting

    Combined teeth from two trips, first to the creek, then to the beach. Quantity was better in the creek at least for small and broken teeth. Found a 1 1/2" pretty mako/great white on the beach, a few shrimp coprolite burrows, and the porpoise tooth. Cowshark from the usual spot, but broken, tips missing. Some drum teeth and a few angel shark teeth as well, and a neat little 'winged' vertebra, may take some more photos. Lots of people out with the nice weather. Don't think the fish are biting although the ospreys are very active, may switch to fishing from tooth hunting soon.
  4. [WARNING: As is my custom, this trip report is exceedingly long, verbosely worded, and copiously illustrated with photos.] (It may be a good idea to find a comfy chair and grab a drink and some popcorn.) Since Tammy's retirement earlier this year, we've been busier than ever. We finally made it to Iceland this summer and saw dozens (if not literally hundreds) of waterfalls in that geologically interesting country. While talking about waterfalls ("fossar" in Icelandic), Tammy had realized that I had somehow not yet seen Niagara Falls. Tammy did not do a lot of vacation traveling when she was younger but had visited Niagara several times in her youth. She decided it was high time I experienced the power of Niagara. It could have been a simple trip--a flight up to Buffalo, a day out on a boat getting drenched at the base of the falls, and home again with little more than a long weekend invested. Somehow though, I have a remarkable knack for constructing enormously detailed travel itineraries--and this trip was no exception. Our anniversary month is October and so with the prospect of some multi-chromatic autumn foliar displays we decided that we'd plan a roadtrip that included Niagara Falls as its underlying motivation. It didn't take me long to realize that there are a lot of great TFF members up in the New York and Ontario area. Additionally, some members from the Virginia/Maryland area suggested meeting up during our last roadtrip through the Carolinas but that trip was already lengthy and involved. Perhaps, I could combine visits with a number of TFF members along the way and do a roadtrip down the Eastern Seaboard? As I started contacting prospective members to get the idea kickstarted, the starting point of our trip changed and we tacked on several extra days to the start of our trip. My brother and his wife had just bought a new house in the north side of Chicago. He decided that since all of the family holidays (Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas) were already claimed by other family members that he would start the tradition of Oktoberfest at their house--first Saturday of October. The itinerary for our trip was still in its early stages so we were easily able to incorporate a trip up to Chicago and link it to the start of our roadtrip. We considered flying from Chicago to Buffalo and picking the rental car there but the cheaper airfares were (not surprisingly) at rather inconvenient times (who wants to check into a hotel in the wee hours of the morning?) but an alternative soon presented itself. Since one of the places we'd hoped to visit along the way was the Devonian Hungry Hollow site in Arkona, ON, we'd have to backtrack west if we started in Buffalo but it would be conveniently along the route if we simply picked up the rental car in Chicago and started the roadtrip from there. This also allowed us the opportunity of visiting the small town of La Porte, Indiana where Tammy lived at one time. Things were falling into place. Of course, that is not to imply that my roadtrips are in any way quickly improvised--I think I spend as much time planning them as I do driving them. Starting the trip in Chicago allowed us both to visit family and work our way through all of our favorite food groups (authentic Chinese, Indian, Middle-eastern, and deep-dish pizza ) before gorging ourselves on lots of tasty German food and Oktoberfest-themed adult beverages at my brother's new place. Finally, we were ready to start rolling some miles (and kilometers) onto our trip odometer and we picked up the rental car and got underway. We planned on making London, ON for our first night and since it turns out it is only a mere 6 or so hours driving from Chicago, we had a bit of time to drive through La Port. It had been nearly 40 years since Tammy lived there and (as expected) much of the area was barely recognizable and not much as she'd remembered it. There were a few landmarks still in place and it didn't take us long to find the house her parents owned in town. The main floor was the Chinese restaurant they owned and the second floor above is where they lived. It's always interesting indulging some nostalgia and visiting places from the past. After a bit of driving around town we picked up the highway and in time crossed the border into Canada at Port Huron. We got to bed late that night but we had one of the longer driving days behind us already. On the road again--and a stop at a childhood home in La Porte.
  5. Real Stumper

    Okay, I concede early on that this may be abiotic, but I just have this gut feeling that it's not an accidental pattern. I found this on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia. The geology there is mostly early to mid-Miocene clays with a Pleistocene terrestrial bog iron layer on top of 40 to 80 ft cliffs overlooking the river. All fossil-bearing. This looks like clay, but I'm not positive that it is from the Miocene layers. There is a row of tiny lumps all about the same ship and almost in a contiguous line. One is just a little offset.
  6. Virginia

    Hello all. Looking for some help/advice. Heading to Williamsburg, VA this weekend and am looking to do a quick morning of fossil hunting for shark teeth, maybe 3-4 hour time window. Does anyone know any general spots that are accessible to public. Was gonna do York river state park but they only allow you to keep one fossil. Chippokes is close but it looks like it takes a while to get across it around the James. Was hoping to find somewhere right near Williamsburg or on way back towards SW Va. Any help is much appreciated.
  7. Rapp Creek and Beach hunting

    Out of action for a bit, but figured a good time to post what I have been collecting since coming back from Singapore summer of 2018. Starting with sandtiger shark teeth, since they are the most common here. Really like the little hook cusps which I seldom see on both sides on the biggest teeth. Cusps are most prominent (but often nubs) on the lateral(?) medium sized wider, root teeth. Symphyseal teeth are not that rare (wish they were cowshark!); often I think one is a split tooth until I examine it carefully; the roots are distinctive. The small teeth may include a few that are not sandtiger, but I'm thinking since they are most common, many of the non-descript small teeth probably are sandtiger. Scale shown for all the teeth in first photo is in cm.
  8. Whale Phalanx

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Baleen Whale Phalanx Bone Parvorder Mysticeti Miocene Virginia
  9. Turtle (?) Scapula

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Scapula found on the beach at cliff base. I can't find anything in the fossil field guides, but a comparison of scapula bones from extant animals shows a close match between this and a turtle's scapula. Miocene Calvert Group Virginia
  10. Ecphora Snail

    From the album Virginia Miocene

    Ecphora sp. Miocene Choptank Formation Virginia
  11. tiny shark teeth ID help

    Don't know what they are (tried to get scans of both sides). One looks like a tiny mako/great white, no serrations, but is probably something else? One is cracked. Several 'leaning' ones are missing much of their roots
  12. Fossil whale bone (specific bone ID)

    Hello all, So i've recently come into the possession of this chunk of bone, and based on the size, porosity, and locality (York River State Park) I believe it's a whale bone (Miocene-Pleistocene in age, likely a mysticete). My question is, which bone exactly is it? It seems to have some fairly distinctive features that seem to lend towards identification, but after around two days of research i'm stumped. I'm thinking it could be anything but some vertebral element, but i'm not sure. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  13. Mini Miocene Marine Mammal

    I found this a few days ago along the Virginia side of the Potomac River along a miocene cliff. It's mostly if not all Choptank formation. Any ideas about a genus? Grid is in inches. Looks like maybe mature dolphin tailbone, but it's so small???
  14. Mystery Scapula

    I found this scapula this weekend along the Potomac River in Virginia. It's a vertebrate. That's all I know for sure. Most of the cliff next to the beach where I found it is miocene marine, but the very top is pleistocene terrestrial. The grid is in inches.
  15. Exploring the Virginia Miocene

    Spent a cold, soggy day on a private trip along the Potomac yesterday. The mud was so saturated that we were sinking up to our knees where the sand met the mud at the base of the cliffs. It was totally worth it! Came home with treasures untold until I finish unpacking. I know there are some really nice whale vertebrae in there, including the one below. There are also a couple nice Ephora snails and what looks like maybe an echinoid -- really rare for the area if it is! My daughter found a couple snaggletooth shark teeth that are actually iridescent and blew me away! Here's a video report of the trip: Sorry I can't say specifically where this is. They are having problems with uninvited guests already.
  16. rapp creek hunting

    Tried to get out before the ice storm in search of cowshark teeth (found none and hunted hard). Lots of small sand tiger teeth, including a crooked one and a symphyseal, and lots of split teeth. Lots of drum teeth, (the dull side is more interesting than the glossy side). Four angel teeth that stand up on their triangular base, two whose root is damaged. Two or three mako (broken). Lots of small triangular teeth (dusky, bull, gray? not sure what all they are). Lots of batoid/ skate teeth, but no stingers or denticles. One whole vert and a small disc echinoid. Lots ofsmall 'whale bone' and bits to go through. Not what I was after, but quantity if not quality was good.
  17. Globidens alabamaensis?

    While collecting at a location in SE Virginia which produces a mixture of material from the Eocene Nanjemoy Formation and late Miocene/early Pliocene Yorktown Formation, I was shocked to find what I believe to be a cretaceous Globidens sp. anterior tooth fragment. My only explanation for this would be that it must have been redeposited into the Eocene beds and finally exposed with rest of the material. The texture is classic Globidens. The only other species with a slightly similar texture found within these formations (though still markedly different), would be Squalodon sp., however if the tooth were more complete it would clearly prove to be hollow with a conical interior consistent with squamates like mosasaurs. The fragment is approximately 7/8" x 1/2". This is the first bit of possibly cretaceous material I have found from these exposures, so it would be quite interesting if the general consensus is a Globidens sp. Your thoughts would be much appreciated! Thanks, Ash
  18. Rapp beach hunting

    Headed to the beach hoping the weatherman was right and could get to the edge of the shells piled at the shoreline just out of reach. The wind was predicted from the SW, but was calm then switched to the NE, and the tide stopped falling. The temperature stayed about 5 degrees lower than predicted as well. Couldn't get to the line of shells where I expected the bigger teeth should be, but with the wind causing a slow wash, teeth started appearing and I got a good variety, colorful and in good shape, though no big ones (and no cowshark, think I lost one in the wash). Will post the whale vertebra tomorrow after it dries. Weather is supposed to be warm tomorrow, may try another beach.
  19. rapp creek hunting

    Has been about 38 F (~4 C) or less since Sat morning and I was getting cabin fever. The tides are running high for the beaches, east wind blowing in the water. So I decided to go to the creek in pouring cold rain (45F, 7C); the creek was icy cold. Was probably stupid, it was difficult to work some new spots in water high over my ankles and both waterproof shoes eventually filled with water. Both quality and quantity of teeth were low. However I was lucky and found TWO nice cow shark teeth (without roots), a small mako (no serrations) along with the usual sand shark spikes and some small gray shark teeth. No angel shark and few drum teeth? Hopefully will turn up when the water quiets down.
  20. Rapp beach

    Even though the tide sucks and it was difficult to get up early with dark cloudy skies, it is WARM (though the water lags behind), so I had to get out. The tide lines of shells had been spread out more evenly on the beach and I hoped to find stuff there. But first I walked the incoming tide with surprisingly little to show for it (three sand shark, one decent tiger shark and three shrimp coprolite burrows (still drying). Lots of small "whale bone" pieces. Also a flat piece with scales(?) almost painted with enamel, that is flaking off?? (I default always to turtle.) Walking the beaches I was disappointed; possibly the lack of sunshine and the black bits of leaves and wood just overwhelmed my teeth spotting abilities (i'm half blind). I decided to root around where I had found my half of a megalodon a few days ago, wishful thinking, and while no meg I found a nice 2" mako lying out in the open . Don't think it was there a few days ago. Hunted the rough stuff high on the beach hard but nothing else interesting. But the nice weather and mako and shrimp coprolites turned it into a decent two hour trip trip.
  21. Rapp beach

    One of the problems with beach hunting in Virginia is that the colonial period in the 1600s and 1700s had more people and more traffic than today, and there are lots of "modern" bones and teeth mixed in with the other stuff. I found something which I originally thought was a tooth (there was light black enamel stippled all over it). It is not heavy or thick like most fossil bones I find. It has a very distinctive face/head (about an inch across) with shallow "crosses" on each side and a deeper cleft in the middle. One part of the cleft is a circular hole that leads into a channel that may have supported blood vessel/ nerve bundles? So many people here deal with bone I am hoping someone will recognize it. Thanks.
  22. Rapp beach trips

    Have been trying to find shrimp coprolites at several beach sites. After a few good outings, have been coming up empty. Was looking forward to getting to a beach after our latest (unexpected) snow with a week of warm weather ahead. Of course the low tide is small this week and both am and pm are in the dark. And the wind which was predicted to be from the west (blow-out tide) was from the east (our low tide this morning was actually higher than high last week's full moon). So arrived early, tide coming in fast but no breeze and no "wash" along the beach. I found a mako and the partial winged fish(?) vert immediately but fairly soon could not reach the shell edge in my boots. Several walks up and down the beach water line yielded a few small teeth. There was a huge amount of stuff-- leaves, small black pieces of wood, lots of mostly oyster shells; visual overload!-- in tide lines deposited along the beach. I gave up on the wash and wandered around picking up some small pieces of whale bone, and discarding lots of rusted metal, and rock-like chunks with scallop impressions. I noticed something leaning against a bush far up on the beach (actually guessing skate plate) and found my 'best' megalodon tooth this year, split in two and tipped but about 3" (I had heard there were no megs on this beach from several friends, but I've found several pieces; maybe they meant no "whole megs". The oyster tongers and scallop dredgers get them, possibly that's why my tooth was broken cleanly in two.) Serrations are there but a bit worn. Not much, but still fun. The two makos are pretty but small, the others are small and worn. Given conditions I was very happy with the hunt, better than my last few outings.
  23. Found Tooth-looking Thing

    Found in my driveway in Annandale, VA. It actually looks a little like wood but is hard like rock. I'm not getting excited but a rockhound friend suggested i run it by you-all. Let me know your thoughts.
  24. Brand new to fossils here, and hope I’m following the rules of this forum. I recently collected some rocks from the creek behind my house in for my fish tank. I noticed that one of them has fossilized remains (I’m not sure I’m using the correct terminology here). More specifically, this was collected at (38.8069171, -77.1493230) on the surface of the creek bed in Alexandria, VA. The surrounding rocks were of all colors, shapes, and sizes. I’ve taken a picture and used my unsightly finger for scale. Could anyone inform me of what I’m seeing? I tried some google searches but was admittedly unsure how to search for this. Thank you!
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