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Paleoworld-101 posted a topic in Fossil Hunting TripsAs the year comes to a close i decided to do a bit more collecting at one of my favourite Australian sites: Beaumaris near Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Once again i travelled down and stayed at a motel near the beach for three days (27/12/18 through to 29/12/18). This trip is a sequel to the previous two trips i have made here which are also posted on the forum: Jan 2016 trip: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/61248-fossil-hunting-holiday-in-victoria-australia-dec-2015-jan-2016/ Feb 2017 trip: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/71996-fossil-hunting-holiday-at-beaumaris-australia-feb-2017/ Beaumaris is a significant site with both marine and terrestrial fossils from the latest Miocene aged Beaumaris Sandstone Formation (5 - 6 million years old), which crops out in distinctly red-coloured coastal cliffs and also in offshore rocky reefs. An impressive diversity of both vertebrate and invertebrate fauna occurs here, and the Melbourne Museum has put together a neat PDF of the fossil diversity for those unfamiliar with the site (https://www.bcs.asn.au/fossils_of_beaumaris_2015-02.pdf). My plan was to collect every single low tide across these three days, and sleep during every high tide. Yes, this meant going out collecting in the middle of the night too! My main interest was to collect shark teeth, however they can be tough to find here and are certainly not as common as at many other sites internationally that the people on this forum would be more familiar with. This often seems to be the case with Australian vertebrate fossils. It does however make it quite rewarding when you do eventually find them! The first day of searching (27/12/18) proved to be rather disappointing. I finally got to try snorkelling for fossils, which is a popular method here for finding things exposed along the seabed, but alas after about 3 hours in the water i had not found any bones or teeth. I was unable to locate the nodule bed where most of the vertebrate fossils originate from, which i think played a part in my lack of success. The seabed was also quite sanded over and it was hard to see much. I was definitely out of my element here, but it was also a lot of fun to get close to some of the local marine life, including stingrays! I decided to return to land collecting after not doing very well in the water and when i did so my luck changed greatly. The next two days and nights of land collecting (28/12/18 and 29/12/18) proved to be much more successful and i even got to meet two TFF members on the beach (coincidentally)! @Echinoid and @Tympanic bulla were also out looking, and we had a nice chat before they headed off to continue snorkelling. I then spent most of my remaining time on the beach flipping rocks and examining the pebbles up close, ultimately finishing the trip with a total of five shark teeth which i was very happy with! Carcharodon hastalis tooth as found. 24mm long. Large Carcharodon hastalis upper anterior tooth, as found at 2 am (with a head-torch) on 29/12/18. Measures 56 mm long. I had long been waiting for a tooth of this size! Carcharodon hastalis posterior tooth as found. 15 mm long. Another Carcharodon hastalis posterior as found. 13 mm long. And a small fragment of cetacean bone. Worn pieces like this are the most common vertebrate fossils at Beaumaris. Pictures continued in the next post
This bone fragment was collected on the beach at Beaumaris in Victoria, Australia. The site is latest Miocene to earliest Pliocene in age (5 - 6 million years old) and consists of the Beaumaris Sandstone formation. Fossils of bony fish, sharks, whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, flying birds and terrestrial marsupials are all known from the location. This PDF gives a great overview of the Beaumaris fauna for those that are unfamiliar with it: http://www.marinecare.org.au/images/Fossils_of_Beaumaris_Feb_2015.pdf I am thinking possibly some kind of jaw fragment just based on the shape, but from what i am not sure. The best match i can see in the document above is the base of the Albatross beak on page 13, but i am not holding my breath on that one. There is dark coloured bone along the edges on both side faces, separated by sediment in the middle. The sediment gap between the bone is larger on one side than the other. The whole piece measures 30mm long, stands almost 20mm tall and is 20mm wide at the widest end. Any ideas?
Paleoworld-101 posted a topic in Fossil Hunting TripsG'day all! I have just returned from a three day collecting trip to Beaumaris, a coastal suburb of Melbourne in Australia. This report acts as a pictorial overview of the trip and provides an insight into what collecting at this beach location is like. A similar trip was undertaken by@digit late last year (http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/70070-quick-trip-to-beaumaris-cliffs-australia/). I too had previously spent two days at this location in early 2016, during my first Victorian fossil hunting trip. Pictures of the finds from that trip can be found in this thread: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/61248-fossil-hunting-holiday-in-victoria-australia-dec-2015-jan-2016/ I decided to return to Beaumaris for a second time as i haven't been collecting for quite some time and i wanted to find more vertebrate material from this location, as i knew the potential that the site possesses and didn't manage to do it enough justice on my first trip here. All of these finds were collected on the shore across the three days that i spent here from the 14th through to the 16th of February. I spent most of that time rummaging on hands and knees in the beach shingle near the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron. As mentioned my main goal was to collect vertebrate material and i was especially interested in finding shark teeth. The fossils come from the Beaumaris Sandstone formation and are between 5 and 6 million years old (latest Miocene or earliest Pliocene). Most of the vertebrate material is derived from a phosphatic nodule bed at the base of this formation, just above the unit contact with the underlying Gellibrand Marl. This nodule bed outcrops only at the very base of the cliffs and on the shore platform which is normally covered by the sea except at low tide. Because i was collecting loose material from the beach shingle a lot of the bones and teeth are heavily worn and fragmentary, but they are still very cool! Beaumaris is highly significant as it is one of the only places in Australia where you get fossils of both marine and terrestrial animals from this period of time, capturing a snapshot of almost the entire ecosystem from fish, birds and mammals to corals, gastropods, echinoids and many others. It is also one of the only places where you can collect vertebrate fossils so close to a major Australian city (only about 30 minutes drive from the centre of Melbourne). The Location: Fossil bones in-situ and in my hand (these are most likely from whales): Many more pictures still to come!