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Found 19 results

  1. 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.
  2. Matoaka Beach 11-21-18

    So today I chose to go out to Matoaka. My parents and brother looked at me like I was crazy but I insisted upon going and I arrived. The beach was nice from the start. I found associated modern fish verts that connected somewhat into a tail shape, which was pretty cool. I proceeded along the beach, finding a tooth I want positive identification on that I'll post later on and some other cool teeth, including large Hemis and a Ecphora with only a small bit missing. The hunt itself wasn't as interesting as what happened next. After about an hour and a half of looking, we went back to our car to refuel. There we met Mr Bryan, a helper for the cabins. He had been fossil hunting down here for 4 months straight, and asked to see what I found. At this point, he slipped a very nice, large tooth into my collector without me noticing till later. He saw my Ecphora and asked if I wanted to see his collection. I obviously said yes. Mr Bryan had so many Ecphora, ranging from minuscule to the size of my palm, from dusky brown to brilliant orange, and offered me a few. His generosity was amazing. He also showed me the whale skull and associated verts he dug out of the St Mary's formation, and the crocodile vert from the same place. He showed me his collection of teeth, including megalodons and a crocodile tooth 2-3 inches long. The highlight of his collection was a fossilized crab he dug out of the cliffs, here, at Matoaka. It was a brilliant piece with claws intact and even places where the eye stalks attached. It was stunning detail, and he offered me a crab body very similar to his except missing the claws. His generosity was at breaking point when he offered me a crocodile tooth as well, albeit smaller than his highlight. He also offered to walk the cliffs with me if we send him notice and look for the best Ecphora. What a person. I couldn't say thanks enough. When we left, I purchased a nice 1 1/2 inch meg from the roadside stand for a steal. It was a great day. Crab: Croc Tooth
  3. Ecphora Snail

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Ecphora, probably E.megane, but I'll say for sure when I prep it! Virginia Miocene Collected on private property with permission.
  4. Mollusk Molds

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Molds from the Choptank Formation. Member unknown. Virginia Miocene
  5. Crocodilian Tooth Sliver

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Choptank Formation Virginia Miocene Collected on private property with permission
  6. 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??
  7. Mysterious Matoakan Tooth

    I was just sorting through my most recent Matoakan finds and found this tooth. I have never seen anything of it's like before, but I may just be off my rocker and confusing it with something new when it's not. It only raised my suspicions because the form of the tooth is strange. The enamel is completely smooth, and the tooth's size is only about half of an inch. It was found in the choptank formation near some clay boulders near the cliffs furthest from the opening. Cheers, FA Front Back
  8. Bryozoa Colony

    I have found a few of these over the years, but it was only recently that I looked closely enough to see that they were not broken bits of the fossil barnacles clusters that litter the beach. The shape, color and texture are actually quite different from the barnacles at this location. This one was excavated from a chunk of landslide material that also contained index fossils of the Drum Cliff Member.
  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Atrina harrisii.jpg

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Exterior view of both valves of a mussel shell, Atrina harrisii, excavated from matrix material submerged in the Chesapeake Bay about 10 feet off the beach at low tide Outer protective shell material was worn away, leaving pearlescent inner layer exposed. St Leonard, MD Choptank Formation Drum Cliff Member Middle Miocene

    © Heather JM Siple 2018

  14. 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.
  15. Whelk

    Excavated from landslide material approximately 1/2 mile nw of Matoaka beach access. Found 4 that week. Two survived excavation. This is the only one discovered intact.
  16. From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Carefully exposed all of these with a dental pick from the lump of matrix in which they were encased. Nothing got moved, just glued insitu. top: Scaphella virginiana center left: Mariacolpus octonaria center right: Ecphora megane bottom left: arcadae indet. sp. bottom right: Glossus sp.
  17. Matoaka beach, Choptank FM, Lower Miocene Before I start out, may I just say Matoaka is a beach not known for its shark teeth. Most fossil hunters go there for invertebrates, Which are incredibly abundant. Shark teeth are usually small, a bit worn, and take lots of work to find. The old saying (that I just invented) goes “If you want a chance at a meg, go to brownies. If you want lots of sharks teeth, go to Purse. If you want a snail, go to Matoaka. If you want to be told you can’t walk under a cliff go to Calvert Cliffs state park” I decided that I was going to walk as far as I felt I could and still get back with daylight. For the first stretch I found literally nothing of interest and the nagging fear that I was going home empty handed kicked in. I had set my mind to “Ecphora mode,” because sharks teeth were not gonna be found. The tide was lower than last time, so I got to have a good look at a new slide that looked really promising. I was right, it was littered with Ecphora. Unfortunately, almost none were extractable or worth the extraction. This one was a real heart breaker, big for me but sliced in half and in really loose clay.
  18. Matoaka Ecphora Hunt

    Warning: Lot’s of photos Well hello everyone, Ever since the monster rains we had I’ve been hearing about some great finds at Matoaka possibly hailing from the new slides. @Shark Tooth Hunter Found an awesome meg, @FossilsAnonymous walked out with some nice teeth and a big ole bone, and @I_gotta_rock found Ecphora(e), a plethora of inverts, and another big bone. She also said some person walked out with a chunk of clay bearing a complete cetecean vert and ribs. How could I pass this up? Though visions of megs danced in my head, I went with lower expectations (Matoaka is not the place you go to hunt megs). However, I love a good Ecphora! I was confident I could find a good one or two. Before I got there, I stopped at Jim’s roadside fossil stand. Had a good conversation with him, got to see some epic finds, and learned some good tips. Also bought some bones, ones kinda funny (get it! It’s a complete cetecean humerus! Permission to roll eyes and stop reading granted), and the next is a cetecean skull element, I’m not sure exactly what you call it (not up to date on my cetecean cranial osteology) but it holds the ear bones in it. Also got an Ecphora as a failsafe.
  19. Who does this bone belong to?

    I found this bone yesterday on matoaka beach, I'm wondering what it belonged to, or where in the skeleton it was. It has one concave side, so I'm guessing a joint somewhere. Miocene Choptank formation. if more pictures are needed I can provide them.
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