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Found 1 result

  1. The Mesozoic is an area that is sorely lacking in my collection. I don't know why, but I just never got around to collecting in it. I never fell in love with dinosaurs or mososaurs like a lot of other people. That was until fairly recently, when I finally took it upon myself to diversify my collection and get to know better my area's (and in some ways own backyard!) geology and paleontology. I set out to discover more about Maryland's Mesozoic Park. I guess it would be best to start off from the beginning. I started the journey not knowing what I'd find, but knowing what it was I hoped to find. I wanted a piece of the hallmark of the Mesozoic, the age of reptiles - my very own Old Line State dinosaur! There was only one problem - I didn't know where to find one. I knew generally what formations to look in, but not where, nor even what to look for. So I took up the ole' Google machine and my own literature at home and started uncovering more about where to start looking. That's what lead me to the first site. A TREK INTO THE TRIASSIC It would be disingenuous to say that I did this all by myself, and I would like to thank @WhodamanHD for helping me out tremendously. Without him I likely never would have gotten this together. For those who don't know, I'll take the liberty to describe the geology of the Free State. In Maryland, the only Triassic aged rocks exposed are those of the Newark Group, here divided by the Maryland Geological Survey into two formations - the New Oxford and the Gettysburg Shale. Both units are exposed in the Culpeper Basin (centered around the town of Poolesville, Montgomery County, Maryland) and the Gettysburg Basin (centered around, in Maryland, the town of Emmitsburg, Frederick County, Maryland). After several months of searching I was never able to find a good exposure near the famous former quarries around the Seneca region in Montgomery County, which is what lead me to the area near Frederick. Here the Triassic rocks are more readily exposed, with reports of numerous fossil discoveries of dinosaur footprints, plants, fish, and others in the area near Mt. St. Mary's University and Rocky Ridge. The Gettysburg Shale in this region is the most fossiliferous, and that is the one I ended up collecting in. Thanks again to @WhodamanHD for giving me info about the site! I spent a good hour or so at the Gettysburg Shale site, my mind full of images of that amazing Grallator sp. print I'd know I'd find. Unfortunately, as the shadows started growing and the day grew colder, I was forced to give up my quest without any dinosaur specimens from this unit. Still, it was nice to finally be able to collect in it and get to experience these amazing rocks up close and personal. The vast majority of the finds from this site were simple trace fossils of I assume to be annelid worms, these being most common in the glossy looking shale.
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