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Found 88 results

  1. Happy belated National Fossil Day! Hope I'm not overstepping from bounds by posting this, but a few people on the forum have asked me how to get out to the one accessible spot left at the C and D Canal in Delaware. It's tricky to find and doesn't look like much when you first get there. I am leading a trip out there this Sunday for Delaware Nature Society as my somewhat belated, but more publicly accessible, National Fossil Day excursion. We are going to be out on the plain that is a the spoils from the canal for a couple hours looking for treasures, but it won't take more then a few minutes to find your first fossil out there. You are welcome to stay and play until sunset if you like. The web site says "Families with children ages 7 and up," but this does not mean that adults with no children in tow are unwelcome, only that the terrain isn't really good for shorter children. The cost for non-members is a whopping $18 per person. You can keep anything and everything you find. People come home with buckets of Belemnites, oodles of Ostrea (well, Agerostrea), and generous numbers of gastropods. Occasional Echodus and shark teeth are also around, but pretty rare in this spot. You can see some of what I've found out there in my album. The matrix is loose sand. Just walk around and pick stuff up! We'll clear a spot of weeds and do a little sifting, too. Register online today. https://www.delawarenaturesociety.org/DNS/Events/Registration/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=F17066AS#.Wd9iJUzMz6c While you're at the DNS visitor center to meet for the trip, you can stop inside and see the displays I'll have set up about Fossils from Delaware and beyond. How well can you tell a fossil from a modern shell or a pseudo fossil? Ever looked at a fossil shell under black light before? See the variety of fossils and ages to be found in our tiny state. Or, if you're not going on the trip but just want to explore with smaller folks, sift through the kiddie pool, for canal fossils I collected earlier this year and for Florida shark teeth donated by the Delaware Museum of Natural History. While I'm around I'll be preparing some matrix from Maryland with my handy dental picks. The visitor center activities are free, but trail fees for the rest of the property apply. The visitor center activities will be open Saturday and Sunday, 9-4. For directions, visit www.delnature.org.
  2. Fossil or Faux-ssil?

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    This game really had people thinking! Can you tell which are which?

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  3. Fern Rubbing Activity

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    National Fossil Day 2018 at Ashland Nature Center in Delaware

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  4. Display of Delaware Fossils

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    National Fossil Day 2018 at Ashland Nature Center in Delaware

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  5. Mock Fossil Pit

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    The pool is loaded with sand and local fossils that visitors could take home - oysters, shark teeth, and belemnites! Oh, my!

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  6. Fluorescent Fossil Display

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    About 60% of fossil shells fluoresce. This was a quick set-up using a cardboard box and an ultraviolet LDE flashlight. Flashlights like this are long wave, so they don't work with nearly as many species as shortwave, but for some species it doesn't really matter which wavelength one uses. The $15 flash light was much more expendable than my shortwave light!

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  7. Fossil or Faux-ssil?

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    This game really had people thinking! Can you tell which are which?

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  8. Make Your Own "Fossil"

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  9. Make Your Own "Fossil"

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    We used Crayola Model Magic to make plant imprints. The medium really holds details well, dries quickly and doesn't make a huge mess (-:

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  10. Fossil Prep Demo at Ashland Nature Center

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    Set up at Ashland Nature Center to show how fossils are extracted from loosely packed sand matrix. I decided this block probably wasn't going to have anything rare an d exciting in it, so I invited some helpers when things were quiet.

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  11. Fossil Prep Demo Table

    From the album 2018 National Fossil Day, Delaware Style

    Set up at Ashland Nature Center to show how fossils are extracted from loosely packed sand matrix.

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple Photography

  12. My daughter and I spent the summer fossil hunting in the Mid-Atlantic. To cap it off, we shared our finds at the local library. There are a few things in there that we did not actually collect this year, but are nicer specimens from previous years of the species we found this year. All of two pieces we actually purchased. The rest was just lying on the ground somewhere this year!
  13. Flourescent Fossil Oyster

    From the album Fossil Flourescence

    Pycnodonte mutabilis, viewed under natural light at left and under short-wave ultraviolet light at right.

    © c. 2017 Heather J M Siple

  14. Belemnite

    B. americana is the Delaware State Fossil. They swam in huge schools and were the base of the food chain in the shallow sea that covered Delaware and New Jersey at the time. This one was found by a surface scan of the loose fossils at the site. They are very common in broken bits and pieces. A whole piece will have a point at the tip and a conically hollow section, the rostrum, at the other end. Whole ones are very rare. This one is nice, however, because it still has its original texture.
  15. A few years ago, I found a fossilized something on the Beach at Cape Henlopen. It was embedded in quartz. It looked kinda like a belemnite, but the wrong material. I was told by Plax that it was much older than our cretaceous belemnites. I tucked it into a spot on the shelf and wondered about it. Since then I have seen a few posts here and there from folks in NJ finding nice little paleozoic pieces on their side of the bay as well. This summer, I made it a mission to explore the Delaware beaches and see what I could find and how far north they went. I began at the cape and worked my way north, one beach to a trip. Cape Henlopen's beach is rather lacking in pebbles this season, so not much to find, but I know they turn up! I have spotted them here and there in the intervening years. The next few trips were Bowers Beach. Oh, yeah! Some are impressions of brachiopods and crinoids are so tiny in big pebbles that is just isn't worth it to take them home and wonder where on that pitted rock I found something recognizable. Others are very distinct chunks of coral replaced with chert, some with crystal quartz in the gaps between structural elements. Each time, I came home with a couple of fistfuls of nice little pieces, mostly about 1" across. The next stop was the beach in Battery Park, in New Castle. This is not a nice bathing beach. It is on a heavily-industrialized section of the Delaware River. The beach is littered with slag, brick, glass and bits of other man-made "rock." But, the black slag definitely allows the brown chert to stand out more. Bingo! The prettiest horn coral I've found yet, plus a few other nice goodies. All told, I came home with about as much as I usually find at Bowers, but cutting my travel time from over an hour to just 20 minutes. *Insert Happy Dance Here!* The last stop was a rare little stretch of river bank in Claymont, a mile or so from the northern border. The stretch was pretty narrow and short. There were plenty of pebbles, but not much chert. Nothing distinctly fossilized. Oh, yeah, and on the way BACK, I found, facing into the woods and hidden by the vegetation, a "No Trespassing" sign. Now they tell me. Ah, well, now I know it isn't worth the trouble anyway. The Delaware Geological Survey, as far as I can find, has no public record of fossils at the beach. They note the Cretaceous at the C&D Canal, the Miocene in a farm field that got bulldozed for a highway, Pleistocene silicified wood in the fields and streams just south of the canal, and plant impressions from the canal down to the southern border. The corals and other marine impressions in the chert are Paleozoic, possibly Devonian or Silurian, but no one seems quite sure. They were part of the ancient sea bed when the Cretaceous stuff at the canal was still alive and can be found in the pebbles there, too, occasionally. I find it really neat and kind of surreal to think about all those fossils that were ancient when my ancient sea shells were still alive.
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