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Found 37 results

  1. Small mammal jaw bone I.D.

    Hello all. I am a newbie on fossil forum and am thrilled that there is a platform like this to help amateurs like myself identify our finds. Thanks in advance. My wife and I have been hunting and collecting fossils over the last few years and it has become a passion. There is nothing more exciting than finding the million plus year old remains of a living creature. We are currently camping in Virginia(USA) at the Westmoreland state park located on the Potomac river near the Chesapeake bay. We went to a local beach known as fossil beach and I found a very small(1/2" long) mammal jaw bone and would love to know more about it. I do not want to speculate on what I believe it is.... I don't want to bias any opinions and I'm no expert! I found it in the sand about 10' above the waters edge. We also found some shark teeth, some fossilized bone fragments and a few ray mouth plate pieces but nothing as exciting as the jaw bone. Sorry for the crappy pics, the entire jaw bone is only 1/2" long.
  2. Help IDing please :)

    My husband and I went fossil hunting today and would love some help identifying our finds. We were searching at Westmoreland State Park at Fossil Beach; it was our first time there. I believe the larger black piece is bone? And is the round piece a fossil at all? It has a hole completely through the middle- maybe a pipe stem? Thank you!
  3. Potomac Area mystery

    Hi everyone Not much new to report this summer, so that is why I haven't posted in awhile, but I found something interesting while fishing last weekend on the Potomac River near the mouth of the Port Tobacco River. It is about 6 cm wide at it's widest point. Any help with an ID would be greatly appreciated.
  4. Darktooth Family Trip

    My family and I have been in Maryland since Thursday evening. The past two days have involved alot of walking and intense heat. My calves and feet are sore and I have got a good sunburn. Friday morning we met up with forum member @RCW3D and his daughter. He took us out to a Miocene exposure along the Potomac River. We started our hunt a little before 10am and I think we got finished around 2pm. We all managed to find some goodies. RCW3D'S whale vert and articulated marlin verts definitely were the prize of the day. But I was happy with what I found though nothing as exciting. I found an assortment of sharkteeth, a nice shark vert, a decent size fish vert and misc bone pieces. Devin did pretty good himself scoring a beautifully colored snaggletooth, a drumfish plate ( which he misplaced) a fish jaw minus the teeth, a nice shark vert, and some other goodies. My wife and older son found a few teeth but weren't really hunting. RCW3D helped my kids out by pointing out where teeth were by drawing a circle around them and sometimes just handing them stuff. We had a really great time and appreciate the time he spent with us. After we left, we grabbed some lunch and headed over to Mataoka cottages so the boys could swim and I wanted to do a little shell hunt. We stayed a couple hours found a few shells and sharkteeth and went for a late dinner. Today my wife wanted to go into Washinton DC, visit the monuments and a couple museums. I won't bore you with all the details. Basically a whole lot of walking in scorching heat. Anyways we are headed back home in tomorrow morning. A short trip but it was a good one. Here are some pics. #1- My finds
  5. Pachygaleus tooth?

    Hey everyone, realizing right now that I haven't posted any fossils of my own in quite a while on the forum. Anyway, I found this tooth back in 2016 on my trip to the potomac river in maryland. It was found at purse state park which has exposures of the paleocene Aquia formation. When I first took a closer look at this tooth I was surprised to see that it had a shape which I had associated with Tiger sharks. I did some research online and found that Pachygaleus would be a match as they are present in that strata. It has been a while since that initial discovery but I wanted to confirm my idea on the forum. It's about .6 cm wide at the root and about .4 cm long. Thanks, PN
  6. It's been a while since I posted a trip but today was one that I won't forget in a long time, I was lucky enough to be there when my wife found a 4 3/4" meg...that my dumb butt walked by at least twice! DOH! Beautiful day on the river, falling water all day long and the temperature was awesome. Total haul of teeth The megs Too bad this one was missing the root. I dug the rib bone out of a chunk of matrix Atlas found by my wife Love the colors on this Found a couple of teeth hiding in some chunks of matrix
  7. This one is small. My son is curious to know if you can help us ID the long fossil with the tiny legs. He was wondering if it could be some kind of very small shrimp? This was found on the shores of the Potomac River in Westmoreland State Park. The beach is surrounded by high clay cliffs, and is known for an abundance of sharks teeth. The long, slender fossil in question measures approx 8 mm long.
  8. Can you help us ID?

    We found this fossil on the shore of the Potomac River at Fossil Beach in Westmoreland State Park, Virginia. The beach is surrounded by high clay cliffs, and is known for an abundance of sharks teeth. It appears to have a small hinge, but the contours of the lines have made it challenging for us to ID. Bivalve? Brachiopod? Can anyone share a more seasoned opinion? The rock is heavy and dense, reddish brown in color, with oval shaped pitting. The fossil impression itself measures approx 45 mm x 35 mm.
  9. Crab cast?

    This looks to me like the internal mold of a crab carapace in concretion.,. What do you all think?
  10. After the long month without fossil hunting, we decided to go to Purse on a free weekend. Now that it is a former state park, it's a lot harder to find because there is no address to it, so hopefully it can recover from some of the hunting that has taken place upon it's shores. I really, really wanted some nice Macrotas after all the talk I had heard about them, and thankfully, Purse didn't disappoint. It was the middle of hunting season there, and we werent wearing anything particularly bright, it was a little nerve racking hearing the boom of gunshots far of in the distance. We started by going right towards the cliffs after hearing a comment about a big otodus found there. After only finding small things, including some nice Cretolamna and Carcharias, as well as a couple goblins, we turned left, and that was where things got interesting, still peppered with the occasional crack of a gun. My identification for Paleocene fossils isn't positive, because I'm used more to Miocene, but I believe the tooth on the right may be a Macrota. It's around an inch. The teeth kept racking up. We had easily found at least two hundred, and I really can't wait to identify and label them. We were both quite tired, being as we had gotten up pretty early that day and explored the whole beach. No otodus, but around 230 teeth and hopefully a big ole' Macrota!
  11. Hello All! I found this shark tooth at Purse State Park in Charles County, MD. Located on the Potomac River, these fossils are from the Aquia Formation. As a novice fossil hunter, I would love some help in identifying this tooth. Is this a Cretolamna sp. (appendiculata?) or Otodus obliquus? Thanks so much in advance! ~Natalie
  12. Hello everyone, I will be visiting the Washington DC area, and want to take a trip to the Potomac to hunt for some shark teeth. Can anyone suggest a good area, and possibly some gear to wear this time of year? I normally wear a wet suit and waterproof boots for this sort of thing and stay relatively warm, so I'm not too worried about the cold. I am looking for a spot with easy access, and preferably not private property, unless someone is willing to let me search on their land. I have never been to the Potomac before, so any suggestions are welcome! Thank you!
  13. Otodus obliquus 01

    From the album Sharks and their prey ....

    Otodus obliquus Charles County, Maryland Potomac River

    © Matthew Brett Rutland

  14. Douglas Point sharktooth ID

    I found this tooth at Douglas Point on a hunt about a year and a half ago. I took it out tonight and the more I look at it I am wondering if it is a small baby Otodus? If not what else do you guys think it could be? It measures 13 mm wide and 15 mm slant
  15. Dolphin/Whale Periotic Bone

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Choptank Formation Virginia Miocene Photographed exactly as found, with brilliant, polished surface when dry! Collected on private property with permission.
  16. Is this a fossil?

    I recently found this at Westmoreland State Park (Virginia) near the Potomac River. It just looked weird to me so I kept it. I'm fairly new to fossil hunting so I am unsure if it is a fossil. Thanks you in advance for any help!
  17. Potomac Vert

    On Sunday I found this interesting vertebrae on the Potomac north of Purse. I have no idea what it is despite several hours of looking at vertebrae online. I guess it could be a modern one. My thought is that the more material I collect, the easier future IDs will be. Any ideas? Thanks for looking.
  18. Hello. I recently took a trip on the Potomac River south of Washington to a Paleocene site. Nothing too exciting for the most part. Lots of small shark's teeth, two smaller broken Otodus teeth. I did, however, find two oddities. Both appear to be bone, one has "ripples" in the surface reminding me of turtle shell. the other has dimples that somewhat resemble a crocodile scute, but not exactly.. Any help would be appreciated.. Thanks!! drobare
  19. Hello! I am brand new to fossil hunting. We went out to Purse State Park along the Potomac River in Maryland and found the attached. Any help in identifying any of these would be much appreciated! This is my first time at this! Thanks so much in advance!
  20. After too many days of cold weather, we were determined to head out to the river during some spring time weather...we weren't prepared for what we found! Snow and ice was stacked up all over the place, for the most part I thought the trip was a bust but we decided to go for a hike anyway. After about a 1/4 mile, we saw some open water along the shore and headed for it...it wasn't much but we had about 600 yards of open beach and mostly open water...there was still some skim ice and slush but we at least could say that we were going to get to hunt a little. We weren't there 10 minutes until I heard a boat running around on the river, I thought to myself, "who is crazy enough to be out on the river with this much ice?" As I watched the boat, it turned and came towards me...yep, I knew who was as crazy as me to be out, it was @SailingAlongToo with some other legends out and about. Always a treat to run into him on the water and chatting a little bit, he was off acting as an ice breaker! LOL! After he left we got back to searching and lo and behold, we started to have some success. We were only wearing boots so I took the water since my boots are taller than my wife's, as I looked down I saw a beautiful site, a Mako! I have many that are much nicer than this one but this was my largest by far. A little while later I heard a squeal of delight from my wife, I looked back to see her holding up a small Meg. All-in all, it wasn't a huge haul today but it was nice to be out on the river again, I'm looing forward to when the ice melts away though I don't think it will be anytime soon. Working our way through the snow and ice. Something to search. My wife scores! Total haul Meg and Mako
  21. Stratford Hall 12/02/17

    For my second ever fossil hunting trip, I figured I'd test out a different site, this time on the Potomac rather than the Bay. I read about many good sites (Purse, Westmoreland, etc.) but the one that seemed most attractive was Stratford Hall Plantation, just down the road from Westmoreland State Park in Montross, VA. Although it was nearly double the length of the drive to Brownie's, I'd say it was well worth it. Instead of venturing off on my own this time, I went with my dad, who wanted to share in the experience of my new hobby. We got on the road early in the morning to get there right as the beach opened. The site itself is fascinating and has a lot of history. It is the birthplace and childhood home of General Robert E. Lee. They offer extensive tours of the house and the grounds, and as much as I'd love to learn about it (and I do plan on doing so some time), this time around I was here for something much, much, older than the Lee family. The drive from the entrance of the plantation to the beach is very bumpy and confusing, but we eventually made it there alive. When we arrived to the beach, we were the only ones there as we had gotten there quite early. It's not a very large beach, and the restricted cliff areas are very clearly marked. We began sifting and combing through the shells and pebbles. After finding a few good sized teeth within my first couple minutes, I knew that this was a good site. My dad and I worked on opposite ends of the beach to cover as much ground as possible, and we both got some great finds. Throughout the day, the beach was near empty, with only a few others showing up the whole time. For the last couple hours we had the whole place to ourselves, and we were able to get some good sifts in before the beach closed at 4:00 p.m. We encountered some interesting wildlife as well, from a dead eel in the water that scared the living daylights out of me while I was wading, to a washed up dead bird (quite large, and looked a bit like a heron with stubby webbed feet). We weren't able to catch a low tide, so we didn't have a whole lot of beach to work with but for two people it was sufficient. It was also quite cold out, and the water was absolutely frigid, but that didn't stop us from having a productive day sifting for treasures! We managed to find quite a few teeth, mostly of decent size too! My finds are to the left, and my dad's are to the right. I should mention that my favorite tooth has to be that of Hemipristis serra, so that was one of my main goals. So you can imagine I was a bit disappointed to walk away without one...or so I thought! I didn't recognize them at first, but when I was identifying my finds later on, I found that the top left row of teeth are lower Hemis (including my biggest one, which is extremely worn down and ugly, but a Hemi nonetheless)! Although I'd much rather have an upper Hemi, these finds were great as well. We both found a good amount of tigers, both contortus and aduncus, some in fantastic condition. I have to say the black tiger on the far left may be my favorite tooth so far; it's nearly perfectly preserved! I also found a bunch of small Dusky and Gray shark teeth, as well as some Lemons. The larger one in the bottom left looked different than the rest, with its strange roots and all, so I had trouble identifying it. Help would be much appreciated. The shell I believe is the Virginia state fossil, Chesapecten jeffersonius. We found hundreds of fragments like this one throughout the day, but unfortunately this was the most complete specimen we found. Then, some more ray teeth, the leftmost being the biggest I've found yet. My dad had some great finds as well, including several baby upper Hemis, making me quite jealous. His best tooth is the top left, beautiful Sand Tiger with some nice cusps that he found on dry sand near the high tide line. He also found a tiny bony fish vert, in the bottom right. Overall, this was a great trip and I'm glad I was able to enjoy it alongside my dad. I think this may be a go-to site, as it seems quite reliable and would likely produce much better in nicer conditions. We got a good six hours of hunting in, taking a break midday during high tide. Stratford is a fantastic site for collecting, although keep in mind that they do charge you for entrance onto the grounds for the day, and the beach does close quite early year round. Looking forward to my next hunt, and I hope you enjoy the report. Hoppe fossil hunting!
  22. Miocene Whale Recovered From & for Display at Westmoreland State Park in VA This past Saturday, Mrs.SA2, @Daleksec (Trevor), his dad Orlin, @MarcoSr, his 2 sons Marco Jr. and Mel, a couple of other folks and I had the pleasure and privilege to finally finish recovering a whale skull from the cliffs at Westmoreland State Park here in VA. Marco Sr's sons had been working to excavate and recover this skull since June, but due to the unstable cliffs, high water levels, wind / waves, and trespassers / poachers damaging the plaster jackets, they had not been able to finish the task until this past weekend. Given the size and weight of the jacketed skull, a boat was the easiest way to get it off the beach and transported to the boat ramp where the Park's employees used a large tractor to lift it off the boat and set it on a trailer. Once prepped, the skull will be put on display at the Park's Visitors Center along with a photo album and video display chronicling the endeavor in hopes of providing knowledge and context about the geology and fossils of the area. Since Mrs.SA2 is still recovering from her fall back in late September, she was tasked with the photography / videography of the recovery. Combined with photos taken by Marco Jr. and Mel from the beginning of the excavation and several others of the group taking photos / videos on Saturday, the Park visitors will be able to see the step by step excavation and preparation process from start to finish. It is hoped that the skull and other skeletal pieces along with the photo album and video will be ready for display to the public by this spring. Everyone working to recover the whale were volunteers except for the Park employees. For the record, back at the end of June these plaster jackets on the skull and post-cranial bones are the same ones Mrs.SA2 and Trevor caught trespassers / poachers beating on with a large stick in hopes of stealing fossils. By the time they were discovered (caught red handed in the act), the trespassers / poachers had already busted the jackets open and removed multiple vertebrae, flipper bones and ribs from their matrix in the now busted open jackets. Thankfully, Mrs.SA2 & Trevor were able to stop the crime, take possession of the removed bones and then turn them over to the Park for safe keeping. Unfortunately, the Park Rangers were unable to catch the criminals despite the great descriptions provided. Here are a few of the photos taken during the recovery on Saturday. The first task of the day was clearing off the debris and sediment that had recently fallen on the working ledge. Mel is on the left in the red hat. I'm on the right and Marco Sr. is in the middle. (Don't worry folks, there are better photos of Marco Sr. a little later.) You can see the delamination and cracking of the cliff on each side of the working ledge. Here is Trevor taking a break from shoveling. Here is Mrs.SA2 posing in front of the skull. Once the debris and sediment was cleared away, the damaged / wet plaster jackets had to be removed and then the sections re-jacketed for stability during recovery. Aluminum foil was used to provide initial cover for the bones. Mel is putting on the foil while rest of us discuss how much this thing is going to weigh. Marco Jr. is in the bright blue sweatshirt, Marco Sr. is in the blue stocking cap, Orlin is in the gray hoodie closest to the cliff and I've got on the baseball cap turned backwards. Burlap is applied after the foil so the plaster will have a substrate for binding. Here, Marco Jr. is wrapping the skull in burlap while Mel mixes up the fist bucket of plaster. Next comes the plaster jacket. The Potomac River provided free water which was mixed with bags of plaster in a bucket, then hand applied to cover the burlap. Water temperature was 49F on Saturday. Mel is on the left and Marco Jr. is on the right. Didn't take long for their hands to turn blue. An interesting side note for those who don't know, Marco Sr., Marco Jr. and Mel have a website called phatfossils.com. They also have a Facebook page with the same name AND they have M&M Ranch in Nebraska where you can find Oligocene terrestrial animal fossils. You can Google that one if you want. Mrs.SA2, Trevor and I always enjoy fossil hunting and fossil discussions with them because we learn so much! Recovering the skull, we just provided the boat and some manual labor, they did the hard part. A couple of photos showing better views of the cliff. Marco Sr. is on the left in the blue stocking cap. Our buddy Zsolt is in the black coat on the ledge. Zsolt helped with taking photos and videos and is saving himself for the important task of lifting the jacketed skull off the beach. More on that later. Here is the skull with its new plaster jacket and wooden support. We found a 2" X 8" board on the beach and cut it to length in order to provide a rigid support once the jacket is flipped over. It took about 90 mins for the plaster to harden / set. Once the jacket was solid, Marco Jr. and Mel dug out underneath of jacket to separate it from the surrounding matrix. Orlin (on right with gray hoodie and shovel) helped shave off the edge of the ledge so we could roll it over and move it off the ledge and down to the beach. Note the sediment ramp built below the jacket. Once the jacket was free from the surrounding matrix, it was rolled over onto the 2X8 board and slid down the sediment ramp to the beach. It was remarkably easy since Marco Jr and Mel had built such a good jacket and gravity worked with us. (Photo below shows a much better shot of Marco Sr., blue stocking cap, 2nd from left) Next, extra matrix was removed from what was the bottom in order to get rid of weight and lighten the load. Below, Orlin (on left) is calculating the weight. Just for reference, a cubic yard of wet sediment from this location weights roughly 2,200 -2,500 lbs. The 8 of us were going to be picking up at least 1/2 cubic yard of dirt, plus the plaster jacket, 2X8 board and skull. Trevor is on the right helping Mel trim off extra matrix. Mel's tongue only came out a few times. After the load was lightened as much as possible, we used those always handy, ratchet straps to keep the jacket closed and secure during transport. The straps also kept the jacket attached to the wooden boards we used for lifting. Wouldn't want it to slide off and us drop it. You can see one of the boards sticking out the left side near Orlin's knee. We used 3 boards perpendicular to the jacket, plus a person at each end, in order to lift it. (YES, it was heavy.) All the boards were found along the beach. More to come in next post.
  23. New Unknowns

    I found this tooth yesterday on Potomac River. I thought at first that it was a crocodile tooth, but it isn't hollow & it isn't curved as most of the crocodile teeth that I see online tend to be. This photo is magnified 2x so you can see the detail. I have another unknown to add to this list later. It measures 1.25 inches long. I just realized I photographed it on the mm side of the ruler. Thanks for looking.
  24. Caledon State Park fossils

    I thought I would share some photos of fossils and an arrowhead I found over the last few years from Caledon State Park in King George County, Va. I know of no other posts anywhere discussing fossils located at this site in Va., although, the fossils at this location along the Potomac River are not very abundant. Sometimes I go down there (1.9 mile hike on a dirt road to the beach) and find nothing. More typically, if you search for 2 hours along the beach there, you will typically find a few small shark teeth; on a good day maybe 10 teeth. Every now and then, one may find a small bone fragment and every once in a while an arrowhead (I’ve only found maybe 2-3 arrowheads here). The fossils are Paleocene in age (66 to 56 million years ago). My best finds are a few Otodus sharks teeth shown in the photos. I might mention that I went to this park probably 25 times before I found even 1 Otodus tooth, so these are very rare at this location.
  25. I was able to spend a couple of hours out on the river today after work, nothing spectacular but I enjoy every chance I get to play in the water. I went to an area that I haven't been to since last fall, it amazed me to see how much things had changed in that time period. I ran into a box turtle on my way down to the river, love seeing these dudes. On my way back out I had to wade past a bush and got startled when a 3 foot water snake took off out of the bush. My box turtle buddy. Total haul Some of the better ones My favorite from today, love the curve.
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