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Found 79 results

  1. Bayfront Park 01/04/19

    Happy New Year, everyone! I was able to sneak in one more hunt before my winter break ended. I kicked off 2019 with another trip to my favorite winter location, Bayfront Park/Brownies Beach. The tides and weather looked favorable, not too cold and relatively low tide very early in the morning. I came more equipped than ever, complete with my new hunting gear that I got for Christmas, including a pair of chest waders (finally!), a sling pack, and a hat from the Calvert Marine Museum with an awesome Hemipristis design. I was one of the first to arrive, and quickly made use of the waders by rounding the cove that can be virtually impossible to pass without them. My waders feature a large mesh zipper pocket on the chest, and that proved to be remarkably useful. No more carrying around tupperware to hold my finds! I stepped foot on the beach about ten minutes before sunrise, and I was blessed with a gorgeous display of colors as the sun shone through the clouds. A few fellow hunters passed me, but I kept my head down and walked slowly, carefully examining every inch of the beach. I was finding a good deal of smalltooth sand tigers with awesome cusplets, but nothing too big for the first hour or so. Even though the majority of teeth found here are small, you can get some pretty stunning colors, not to mention the mind-blowing quality of preservation of some of the teeth. Even after millions of years, the teeth are still sharp enough to cut you fairly easily. That's something that never ceases to amaze me. Anyway, I soon stumbled across a larger tooth laying right out in the open, high up the beach in the dryer sand. It was a very pretty Isurus desori, a mako shark tooth! I happily dropped it into the pouch and kept moving. I continued to find small and medium sized teeth for the majority of the morning. At one point, I picked up a complete dolphin epiphysis, or "cookie" as many collectors call them. I had found a few fragments of them at this location before, but this was my first one to be fully intact. I found it increasingly difficult to navigate the beach as the tide came in, as there were many fresh tree falls and cliff slides due to the recent weather conditions. I decided to call it a day at around noon, so in total I hunted for about 5 hours. My haul consisted of a plethora of sand tigers, many tigers and requiems, a handful of small hemis, a few makos and hammerheads, one broken cow shark tooth, a few odontocete teeth, ray plates, the cookie, and a nice gastropod shell. A pretty typical Brownies haul. I ran into a few other collectors, none who seemed to have found anything incredible, but I always love talking fossils with fellow enthusiasts! I was even able to identify another hunter's find for her, which I always thoroughly enjoy as well. Overall, I had a very nice first trip of the new year and couldn't think of a better way to wrap up my winter break before heading back to school. Thanks for reading my report, and please check out the Hop 5, posted below. I'm starting something new with my trip reports in 2019! I HOPPE you'll enjoy! Sorry, I just can't help myself when it comes to puns. Hoppe hunting! ~David
  2. Flag Ponds - New find

    I went hunting on Sunday at Flag Ponds & found this interesting, probable Cetacean bone. I would appreciate your help with an ID, of what body part, if possible. The piece is about 7.25 cm long & 5 cm wide. The hole is big enough to hold a sharpened pencil. Thanks for looking.
  3. Matoaka Beach 11/07/18

    Hi all, I finally made the trek to Matoaka Beach, a fossil collecting site along the Calvert Cliffs on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The beach is accessible to the public for $5 per person per day. Once we arrived, we reported to the front office where the property owner and his adorable newborn daughter were happy to collect our fee and give us access to the beach along with advice on how to best hunt the grounds. He advised us to head North (left of the entrance), which was what I had also read online. Apparently, the farther North you head, the better the fossils tend to be. So my dad and I made our way down the stairs to the foot of the cliffs, and began searching. The beach is very wide, so it's difficult to decide where to walk. I was finding fragments of Chesapectan shells left and right, but nothing quite worth keeping. But then, after maybe 5 minutes of hunting, I looked down at my feet and saw a large, complete, Ecphora staring back at me. I could hardly believe it. At a site where invertebrates dominate the matrix, a nice Ecphora is just about equivalent to finding a Megalodon tooth. And yes, I am aware that Meg teeth can be and have been found at this site before, but the find that I was after that day was certainly Ecphora. It was a gorgeous specimen, much larger and more complete than any other I'd found before. And there it was, just laying out in the open, a couple hundred yards from the entrance. I excitedly showed my dad the find, and promptly continued hunting, although I knew there was likely no beating what I had just found at the very beginning of the day. As I walked farther North, I marveled at the cliffs, which were absolutely chalk full of invertebrate fossils. It was incredible, and unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I kept finding crushed shells and small pieces of fossilized coral, but nothing spectacular. That is, until I stumbled upon the section of the beach where many huge chunks of the cliffs had fallen. I decided to look for large shells sticking out of the cliff falls, and very quickly discovered the best method for finding fossils at Matoaka. Immediately, I began finding giant Chesapectan every couple of inches in the cliff falls. After unearthing about a dozen, I decided to head North again to see if I could find another similar section. I walked at least a mile farther and found next to nothing, so I turned around and headed back towards the digging site. When I arrived, I saw that my dad has discovered the falls and was digging through them just as I had been. We both set down our gear and decided to spend the rest of our day there carefully excavating shells from the matrix. This was certainly different than the fossil hunting I've done in the past. It felt more like the traditional "dig site" hunting that most people think of when they think of a paleontologist or archaeologist. It was really cool. At one point, I saw a familiar spiral structure just poking out of one of the falls, and quickly recognized it as a small Ecphora. I plopped myself down on the ground next to it and spent the next 20 or so minutes cautiously excavating it. I foolishly forgot to bring a digging kit, so I resourcefully used broken fragments of sturdy shells around me to dig out the specimen. Although I chipped off a few pieces of it, I managed to extract it from the matrix mostly intact. With that, we headed back towards the entrance. We decided to sift for a bit to try for some shark teeth, and eventually I found one and my dad found three. Matoaka is unrivaled for invertebrate fossils along the Cliffs, but it's definitely not a top spot for teeth. Overall, I was incredibly pleased with my first trip to Matoaka Beach. From the friendly owners to the beautiful scenery and wildlife and the fantastic fossil finds, Matoaka Beach is a must for any fossil hunter in the DMV area. We ended up finding a ton of Chesapectan, ranging from "itty bitty" nearly the size of my hand, some stunning Ecphora, fossilized coral and barnacles, some Turritella, and a few shark teeth as well. I already can't wait to go back to Matoaka. Thanks for reading my report. Hoppe Hunting!
  4. Unknown Cetacean Fossil

    This is a fossil of unknown origin, it was allegedly found burried in sand near the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia; or possibly on the banks of the James River. The previous owner believed it to be an intervertebral disc of some kind of whale. It is clearly fossilized and has some areas encrusted with a sand like mineral. It also has a few spots where a shiny black mineral has been deposited. Can anyone provide an identification and possible an estimated age?
  5. Hello all, I am delighted to inform you that I am not dead, although my horrendously lengthy absence from this forum may have suggested otherwise. I am fully aware that I had already committed to being more active after taking a short hiatus a little while back, but I simply fell out of the habit of logging in and posting on this site, mostly due to my extremely busy senior year schedule. I have truly missed posting and sharing my experiences with you all, and I could not be more glad to return. Although I may have been inactive on this forum, I was certainly NOT inactive whatsoever in terms of fossil hunting. I have been on several trips since I last posted. In fact, I've probably nearly doubled my collection. At the beginning of the summer, I decided to purchase a Pelican Mustang 100x Kayak in order to reach remote areas of the Calvert Cliffs that are so frequently cited as remarkably productive. I affectionately named the kayak the H.M.S. Serra, after my favorite prehistoric shark species, Hemipristis serra. Over the course of the summer, I took her out on the Bay many times in search of large shark tooth fossils. I may have failed to find a Meg, but I found some incredible fossils that I gladly added to my ever-growing collection. Below you can find pictures of some of my finds from my various kayak trips to the Calvert Cliffs over the summer, as well as a picture of my beloved Serra. Some of my best finds from all these trips include large Hemis, a perfect 2-inch hastalis (pictured in my hand), lots of cow shark teeth, a crocodile scute, a large Lemon straight out of the matrix, and my first ever Ecphora! I truly had a very productive summer! I couldn't be much happier with all of my finds (unless of course I found a Meg...) and I can't wait to continue hunting in the coming months. The H.M.S. Serra likely won't be out on the water until it gets warm again, but there's still plenty of hunting to do at local sites on foot. In fact, I've already been on a few trips since putting her away for the colder months. I will make trip reports for those soon, and you won't want to miss them! Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll enjoy my future posts! Hoppe hunting! ~David
  6. A few new teeth

    I found two interesting teeth on Sunday at Flag Ponds.Not sure if there is enough there for identifications, but thought I would share anyway since I haven't posted in awhile. The smaller tooth looks curved and asymmetrical, is that indicative of a back jaw position, or something else? Thanks for looking.
  7. Matoaka Beach iron concretions?

    I found these on Matoaka Beach, Maryland a week ago. I found some of these that have bone and shell in them. I also found turtle shell fragments and other bone fragments. I think they are just iron concretions of some sort, but since I found bone in some I question whether there may be something else to them. Any thoughts?
  8. Brownie’s Beach bone fragments ID

    I was in Maryland last week for a work conference. After the conference finished on Friday I headed out to hunt at Brownie’s Beach. I found a lot of little stuff. Nothing big. Anyway, many of the bone fragments are chunkosaurus. But I think these may be identifiable. I have put them in 2 rows of 4 each. Row 1 are 1-4 left to right. Row 2 are 5-8 left to right. First pic is top side. 2nd pic is the bottom. 1. I think could be a fragment of vertebra, maybe where the spinous process attached. 2. Maybe a piece of turtle shell? 3. A scute from a turtle or something. 4. Possibly a rib fragment. One end tapers pretty thin and it has a curve to it. 5. Is a mammal vertebra 6. It may be nothing. It is very hard and may just be a phosphatized piece of something. It has a bit of texture of eroded keratin or something. I’m guessing it’s nothing, but wanted to ask. 7. Maybe a fragment of turtle shell or bone. The hole on it is curious, but looks like eroded bone. 8. It has an unusual, convoluted surface texture, but from the side it is unmistakably bone. Could it be turtle? My 2nd guess is a fragment of an epiphysis or vertebral disk, but it doesn’t really look like that pattern. I can provide more pics of any of the items if needed. Thanks for comment or insight. I’ve never hunted this type of environment or formation before so it was all new to me.
  9. Last week I flew out to Baltimore for a conference for my work. The conference ended Friday morning. I had arranged to stay through Sunday in Maryland to go fossil hunting. Friday afternoon I caught an Uber to a car rental place and then drove the rental car down to Brownie's beach on Chesapeake Bay. It was about a 90 minute drive. The drive was beautiful once I got past Annapolis. It was lush and green with many farms and homes on large pieces of land. It started sprinkling just after I got on highway 2. I made it to the area now named Bayfront Park. The park seemed to consist of maybe 20 parking spots max with a trail of maybe 0.1 miles down to the beach. Along the path were small signs on stakes identifying some of the local trees. There were no facilities present. I parked my car. It was still sprinkling. I changed my shoes, put on ball cap and sweater to provide some protection from the rain. I was wearing capris so that I could walk in the water a bit. The temperatures had been in the 80s most of the time I had been in Maryland, but that day it was in the mid 60s. I arrived around 2:30 PM. Low tide was not till 6:40. I didn't know what to expect. I was told to turn right to head to the cliffs. So I did. The beach consisted of maybe 20 feet of sand between the woods and the water. There may have been 800 meters of beach between the entry point and where the shore made a sharp 90 degree turn east, making an L shape where a small cove was. The bank ran maybe 50 feet east before making a 90 degree turn going south again. The beach was littered with dead horseshoe crabs big and small. There were not any shells or anything much else on the beach. There were quite a few shell fragments of fossilized shells. Some had pretty patterns on them. There was a family with 4-5 young children on the beach. The dad was hunting for shark teeth with a screen and colander. Other than the family there was no one else on the beach, but there were 3 cars in the parking lot when I arrived. So, at least 2 other people had to be somewhere along the beach. About 20 minutes after I made it to the beach a local man came down onto the beach for a walk. He stopped to talk to me and asked what I was doing. He said he had hunted shark teeth there for years, but had quit hunting and just came down to walk the beach for the enjoyment of it. Oops sorry folks my computer is a laptop and a bit glitchy and somehow it posted this before I was done. I am still working on it. I'll get there eventually. Piece by piece.
  10. Two unknowns from Brownies Beach

    Hi everyone. I found this small cap-like structure at Brownies beach last Saturday. It is around 1.5 cm across. The second is 3.5 cm long and 1.9 cm tall. Any help id-ing these would be appreciated, as always.
  11. 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.
  12. I have been working on a chunk of dried matrix from Matoaka. As I dusted it off with a brush, I noticed this mesh-like material. The photo is magnified 4x, & the mesh is estimated at 4 cm across. It looks very thin & fragile, so I am not sure if I should try to remove it or just leave it be for now. This is the largest chunk that I have at home, so you know it will kill me to leave it like that. I also found a tiny little ecphora & a tiny crab claw in the same matrix, so I know it is good material. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!
  13. Canine Conundrum

    Hi everyone. I found this tooth at Matoaka on Saturday, August 25th. It tinks when I tap it on china, or up against shark teeth. It is hollow. Fellow fossil hunter, JPC, suggested it is a mammalian canine tooth. Question is, which one? Any suggestions? The ruler is in cm. It looks basically the same on both sides.
  14. Choptank Formation Mystery

    Hi everyone, I found this odd fossil while hiking along the Bay Saturday. I almost left it because I thought it was just a shell, but it has fossil-like characteristics. It is 3.5 cm at the base & 2.5 cm tall. It is 1cm at it's widest point. Thoughts??
  15. Spinifulgur spiniger

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Whelk, Siphonal devexa Aperture view Middle Miocene St. Leonard, Maryland Choptank Formation Drum Cliff Member This is one of four I found in the fallen matrix in four days of excavation. It is the only one that I found intact.

    © Heather JM Siple 2018

  16. Spinifulgur spiniger

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Whelk, Siphonal devexa Aperture view Middle Miocene St. Leonard, Maryland Choptank Formation Drum Cliff Member This is one of four found in the fallen matrix in four days of excavation. It is the only one that was found intact.

    © Heather JM Siple 2018

  17. Siphonalia devexa

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Snail, Siphonalia devexa Middle Miocene St Leonard, Maryland Choptank Formation Drum Cliff Member Excavated from landslide material NW of Matoaka beach access in St Leonard, Maryland

    © Heather JM Siple 2018

  18. Perna conradensa

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Mussel Shells, Perna condensa Middle Miocene Choptank Formation Excavated from matrix submerged in the Chesapeake Bay, about 10 feet off of the beach at St. Leonard, MD, at low tide. Internal molds from a Miocene mussel bed, left in fine clay and stabilized with Paleobond to prevent disintegration

    © Heather JM Siple 2018

  19. Chesapectin nefrens

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Collected loose on the beach in St. Leonard, Maryland middle Miocene Choptank Formation Drum Cliff Member Chesapectin nefrens is an index fossil for the Drum Cliff Member of the Choptank Formation, meaning that whatever chunk of matrix one may find fallen out of the cliffs, the precise layer is known so that other fossils in the same block can be identified. These are a very common find at St. Leonard and other places, but I particularly liked the coloration on this one!

    © Heather JM Siple 2018

  20. Mussel With Both Valves

    Excavated from matrix in the Chesapeake Bay, about 10 feet off of the beach at low tide. View is external on both valves, but hard outer coating has been lost to decay. Valves are pearlescent.
  21. Volute Snail

    This specimen was made incredibly soft by the surrounding matrix. The thin veneer of glossy coloration has worn away, but can be seen on this specimen, which came from the same 2 ft x 1ft x 1ft block of matrix that fell out of the cliff into the bay. Half a dozen of these were collected from that and one other small, adjacent block that day, along with more than two dozen other species. Layer originally designated Shattuck Zone 18. Donated to the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
  22. Sea Snail

    This specimen shows the original sheen and probably original coloration of the shell. It popped out of the matrix as you see it and required almost not cleaning. This specimen was stabilized, but stabilization did not change the appearance at all. Excavated from a chunk of matrix fallen from the cliffs into the Chesapeake Bay. Donated to the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
  23. Geoduck Clam

    Sometimes you just get lucky. This geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck) was sitting with its mate in living state, filled with matrix, under a pile of landslide rubble at the water's edge. The exteriors of both shells were almost completely clean of matrix. Most other specimens were badly cracked in the matrix and would never have survived the fall. This shell was donated to the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
  24. Hello, I am seeking help identifying the fossil(s) in this rock. I am new to fossil collecting myself and found this on a chesapeake bay beach well known for miocene fossils in maryland. I spoke to someone that is familiar with the area and they said that it looks like it could be a Devonian fossil that got trapped in asphalt and that it is possible that it has been displaced from its original location. I am not sure if it is an imprint or a fossilized animal and I do not know how or if I should try to remove some of the surrounding rock for identification. The pattern on the side as well as the central point are of interest to me. Thank you! It is 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 centimeters
  25. Hello everyone, I apologize for the delay in making my report, but my latest trip was delayed by an upper respiratory infection. I took this past week off from work, with plans to visit both Matoaka and Flag Ponds, but then the virus hit and so goes the best laid plans of mice and fossil hunters. By Thursday, after four days of long naps and lots of fluids, I decided I was well enough to make the hour and a half drive down. I also thought that some sunshine would do me good. The day was gorgeous, not the normal, swampy heat that my home state of Maryland is known for. We call it, 'the air that you wear.' Surprisingly, the crowd was small. for such a beautiful, sunny day. I arrived at the cliffs around noon. High tide was around 9:30 that day, so while I would have preferred to go earlier, I waited for the tide to roll out a bit. The waves were a bit stronger than I expected, so I am glad that I waited. It was not a day for teeth because I found nothing other than a few tiny lemon shark teeth. But after meeting Igotarock and seeing her report, I had shells on my brain more than teeth this time. Whodaman, I was not feeling up to going all the way up the beach to the second cliff, but I have been eyeing it up for weeks. It is on my list for a cooler day or maybe a day when I can get an earlier start. The material that fell down a few weeks ago at the first run of cliffs is still revealing gems. On my way to the fall, I made the mistake of slipping on the clay ridge at the base of the cliffs. I know that area is very slippery and I try to avoid it, but I stepped up on it for a minute because the sun had dried it fairly well so I thought I was safe and I wanted to look at a very large clam shell. On my way back to the sand, my feet both went out from under me at the same time. Fortunately my bum hit the sand and not the harder clay. I banged my left wrist up a bit and it was very sore last night, but no permanent damage. After sitting for a bit and making sure there was no real damage that would keep me from going on, I made my way to the fall, found some promising chunks and put them in a bucket that I had brought along with some bubble wrap. Tonight, I got out the toothbrush and the dental pick and revealed this,
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