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After the holiday rush that included more rain than expected I thought a great way to end the year and the decade would be to make one last pilgrimage to the Peace River. Upon checking the water levels and discharge flow last night and at 7 am this morning it looked like levels were coming down. Outside temperature was about 60 degrees but I figured with the wetsuit all would be good. So, got to the river about 8:30 am and was surprised to see how high the water level was and how fast it was moving. But after the one hour drive and wanting to get in the year/decade ending trip I put the wetsuit on and headed up river. Getting to the spot I was targeting for the day, shown above, I did find it was deeper then expected. The area in the photo that looks like a bit of fast moving rough water is actually a small set of submerged rapids that has a 3' to 4' drop off when water levels are at their lowest. I took the picture while sitting in the kayak where I would usually be standing on a sandy bank. Not to be deterred I went ahead and started digging and sifting. Had to stay out of the middle of the river and work an area where the water flow wouldn't wash everything right off the shovel before I could lift out. Even with Mother Nature's lack of cooperation on water levels I was still able to come up with some nice finds to wrap up the year. A nice Glyptodont Dermal Scute, 1 1/4" full Meg, partial Meg, an Alligator tooth, couple of small Hemis and a pretty good Tiger shark tooth made the trip worth it. It remained overcast and breezy throughout the morning with the temperature staying in the mid 60 degree range. The water was warmer than the air temp even at noon. At that point I decided to call it a day, year and decade and headed for home. Passed by that deceased alligator still wedged against the log in the river. It was being visited by the friendly neighborhood vulture who has been hanging out there with friends. Could see that it had almost been dislodged by the high, fast moving water but I think it has arrived at its final resting place. Took 2 more photos heading down river that show a tree stretching almost all the way across. Last spring I actually passed up and down the river going under this tree. A combination of the tree shifting and falling lower, and the high water level, means passing by it along the east bank for now. This gets a little tricky when the water level drops due to a submerged pipe that runs across the river and rock a outcropping along the bank. Looking forward to my first 2020 Fossil Adventure in the coming week!!
Went back to the river yesterday inspite of the high gauge readings and strong discharge reports. The reports were spot on! The water level was visibly higher and the flow was really moving along. It was a tough pull to get the kayak up river to my favorite spot. I passed several new obstructions on the way, including a 25' to 30' palm tree, root ball included, sitting in the river where there was no sign of it last week. When I arrived at my intended dig spot the usual sandy shoreline I have been beaching the kayak on did not exist. I had to climb the bank and tie off the kayak to a tree to keep it from washing downstream. My usual easy walk to start digging was hampered by deep water. I decided to climb the bank to avoid taking an unwanted swim and to keep from having to climb over a couple of downed tree trunks. This proved a bad idea as there was deep grass, numerous holes and a deep gully in the way - kept thinking about gators and snakes hiding below. So, back to the water and a slow careful advance over the tree trunks and through the deep water. I managed to get there without taking a dunk! Last Friday I found my first partial Mastodon tooth in this spot. Yesterday, within 15 minutes of starting to dig another, bigger partial Mastodon tooth came up! This one was clinging to the side of the shovel with the shovel blade between the teeth. I nearly dropped it I was so surprised. Luckily I got it into the screen before it could take a dive back in. By way of comparison below is a picture of last weeks tooth with the one from yesterday. My time was limited yesterday, only could spend about 2 hours digging. In addition to the Mastodon partial I also found a nice meg and horse molar. All in all - Great Day!
Oxytropidoceras posted a topic in Fossil NewsHimmler, T., Smrzka, D., Zwicker, J., Kasten, S., Shapiro, R.S., Bohrmann, G. and Peckmann, J., 2018. Stromatolites below the photic zone in the northern Arabian Sea formed by calcifying chemotrophic microbial mats. Geology. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323211798_Stromatolites_below_the_photic_zone_in_the_northern_Arabian_Sea_formed_by_calcifying_chemotrophic_microbial_mats https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/74385017_Tobias_Himmler https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/528309/stromatolites-below-the-photic-zone-in-the Yours, Paul H.
Though the exact age and location is unknown, this is an excellent example of a deep water fish found usually at depths exceeding 1000 feet. Even the small bioluminescent light organs (photophores) are preserved as small dots along the ventral region of the tail section.