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Found 345 results

  1. Shell Shocked at Matoaka

    Calvert Cliffs has been a popular place lately and I hesitated to post one more trip report this week, but as I look for other kinds of things, I decided I'd share. I have been told on several occasions that the cabins aren't worth much. All they have are shells. as @WhodamanHD put it, "If you like snails, go to Matoaka." Well, yes. That's why I love it so much. Last year I documented at 50 species of mollusk from one spot on the beach, and that's just what I was able to bring home! I returned to the for Independence Day week. and the cliffs did not disappoint! A landslide so recent that there was no sign yet of rain erosion stretched out into the bay just north of the beach. It's a treacherous place to linger and to traverse, but I was banking on the fact that this part off the cliff had done it's falling for now -- I hoped. In other spots, trees dangled precariously over the cliffs. If you ever doubted that this can fall on you, remember this -- I'm pretty sure that the sound of thunder I herd the night we got in was the landslide I worked all week. It only rumbled once, on a windless, rainless evening. The innumerable fallen trees I had to climb over to get to my favorite spot tell the rest of the ongoing story. If you feel a bit of gravel fall own your head, RUN. You were warned. That said, we all know this is an addiction, so I se too work with a screw driver most of the week, chipping away at the loose material at the base that was sitting in the nice, cool water most of the day. On a blisteringly hot day, there's no place I'd rather be! The fall exposed all kinds of things that most folks think I'm a bit silly to carve out - clams, snails, bryozoa, brachiopods, but I love the biodiversity of the place. I chipped away at big blocks during the day, until it got too hot, the tide too low and the snack supply diminished. I met the wonderfully astute @FossilsAnonymous out there and loved getting to talk to a fellow hunter who didn't think me crazy for chasing after punky sea shells. I wrapped everything in aluminum foil and carried them in a metal pail for the mile or so trek back to the cabin, where I had my make-shift lab set up on the porch. That's where the real work began. The day before we left was blustery after successive storm cells moved in and out the night before. The beach was totally rearranged from wave action. The bay spewed forth all kinds of things. My daughter and I walked the beach to find whatever had washed ashore. I found 3 Ecphora snails sitting on the beach right at the entrance. A little further down, we met another forum member, whose name I cannot find now in my tag options HI! We spoke for about 10 minutes while she and my daughter dove into the lapping waves to grab the shark teeth that washed up at our feet. How they saw them is beyond me, but they must have collected 30 between them while we were standing there! It's taken me a week since I got home to unwrap and clean most of what I brought home. It took me an entire afternoon of diving into half a dozen texts to identify the few shells that were new to me. One I can still only get down to a genus. (see comments!) So far, I've found at least 8 more species of mollusks to add to my count. My daughter brought home great gobs of shark teeth. We even brought back a few big bone shards, one of which I believe is a (rather rare for this section) dugong bone with scratches that might be a predator's bite marks. There is still a big blocks of matrix in the basement waiting to be carefully picked with the old dental and clay tools. There is still a pile of micro matrix to sift through that I carved out of the larger shells as I prepped them. It's been like opening gifts at Christmas. This Christmas may last for a couple very happy months!
  2. 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.
  3. Hi, first time fossil hunting hoping someone can help me ID some of these! I thought the first pic might be a turtle shell fragment, but have no clue about the others. The last photo,Found at Flag Pond Nature Park in Southern MD. Thanks!
  4. ID shark centra to type of shark

    From my attempts to get information about the types of sharks matched to centra has not been successful. I understand that it is complicated and one reference said there were 14 specifics to ID but it did not provide those criteria. I want to display these shark centra for a "Shark Week" display for the Natural History society of Maryland. Any information that TFF can provide me would be helpful. There are 3 differing pattern on the sides of the centra as shown in the attached pictures. Can we associate any of these types with the megalodon shark? Thanks for your help.
  5. Iron Hill Museum Fossil ID

    I recently took a trip to the Iron Hill Museum in Newark, Delaware. (Which has amazing displays by the way. Its small, but fascinating.) There, I bought a small bag of about 10 fossils. I knew what most of them were, but there are a few I am unsure of what they actually are. I was wondering if anyone on the Forum could help me. All I know is that all of the Fossils were found in either Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. Unfortunately I will have to upload these each in separate posts as it won't let me upload more than 3.95 MB. (Yell at me all you want if you have found a way around it.) 1. This one I was told that this is some kind of bone fragment. 2. This is also another bone fragment. 3. I think this is a bone fragment. 4. I know this is a vertebra but I am not sure what kind. I am pretty sure it is marine. 5. This is some kind of tooth. 6. No idea.
  6. Matoaka-Cove Point double header

    Some Awesome invertebrates from Matoaka. That bit on the left is a bit of Ecphora in the original matrix. The next two are Lunatia Heros, the Moon Snail. The bit of coral is Astrhelia Palmata, the barnacle (above the coral) is Balanus Concavus, and the final shell is Glycymeris Parilis. Nice bit o work all together. Beautifully Colored teeth from Matoaka All the day's finds at Cove point Beautifully colored teeth from Cove Point (I'm lucky in the color department aren't I?) Black Drum Teeth from Cove Point (These are pretty cool) At Matoaka, I met a paleontologist like ourselves that worked for the Delaware Museum of Natural History that made some very beautiful finds in the invertebrate area... Apparently her museum had no finds from Maryland, and she changed that. The museum now has 50 species of invertebrates from MD there (Thought y'all would like to hear about real life work too as well as my insignificant finds.) Also, I found a large piece of Dugong bone about a foot long. Sorry for no picture of it. For all of you out there that do Paleocene Shark tooth hunting, do you know any public access areas where I can hunt? I am looking to expand the timeframe of my collection by hunting some paleocene teeth up, especially Otodus and all that. Thanks
  7. Brownies?

    Hey all. Just wondering if Brownies/Bay front park is anywhere good to fossil hunt? I kinda want to try it out but I don't want to go if it's not a good place. Thanks!
  8. Chesapecten Nefrens

    Hello All! Found this shell in MD. As I have little experience in invertebrates and have only just got into collecting them I felt I needed to ask what it was. I'm guessing Chesepacten Nefrens. Will do more Invertebrate posting soon...
  9. Maryland Fossils 2018

    Hello fellow paleontologists. I do most of my work in Calvert and I would love to see what you guys find... Put in anything you like down below. The fossils can only be found by you (its only fair) This isn't really a contest, just a look over of Maryland fossils.
  10. Hey... What is this?

    Hello! I found this on a trip and I am wondering what it is... Any help with identification please? This is a Miocene tooth.
  11. Hello, fellow forum members! After 30 years of fossil collecting along the Chesapeake Bay near Chesapeake Beach, this find is a first and I am a bit stumped. The fossil in the image has two distinct teeth and is very heavy. Does anyone have any idea what this is from? My family and I are very curious about it and don't want to add it to the "what is it?" jar. Thank you in advance!
  12. Matoaka Beach Cabins

    I had a great time searching for teeth in the water at Matoaka. Here, the fossil rule is quality over quantity. For a new site, this proved to be quite a different but rewarding experience from our normal site. Teeth found here are from the Choptank Miocene formation. As can be shown from the pictures, Hemipristus Serra is the most common 'big tooth' found there, but a few Makos are around and some people have even reported finding 2-3 inch extinct giant White teeth... The fossils are beautiful here and most of the teeth are in great condition. Also look out for Bronze Whaler shark teeth, Whale teeth, Odontocete teeth (small, dolphin like animals) porpoise teeth, black drum teeth, and your nice Galeocerdo Contortus and other tigers. Beautifully preserved invertebrates are out there too. Be on the lookout. This is a great place fo young children and experienced fossil hunters alike. Secrets: Go to the North beach instead of the South, and head west as far as you can to get to the best teeth and vertebrae.
  13. Purse and Flags Pond

    Hey all, On Sunday I drove from Virginia to Purse and then to Flags Pond in Maryland. I felt quite disappointed. I had to look REALLY hard which took a toll on my back. I go to both parks at least a few times a year; but since my last visit (Purse in October) , I noticed a drastic change in the quantity of fossils around. My last visit I remember it was so much easier to find fossils and a lot more of them without going very far. I know in the summer parks tend to get busier, but both beaches felt way over picked in my opinion. I was going to go to Calvert the next day, but I decided to head back to Virginia that same day. Not sure if I will ever go back to Purse anymore, seemed like that beach was cleared up real well. Any local Maryland fossil hunters noticing this change?? Or is it just me??
  14. Calvert Cliffs find

    My family and I were at Calvert Cliffs today and discovered this. Any thoughts?
  15. Finds From Flag Ponds

    Hi everyone, Newbie fossil hunter here. I visited Flag Ponds Nature Park yesterday (June 10, 2018) and came up with some finds that I am having a difficult time identifying. The park is on the west side of the Chesapeake bay near cliff formations from the Miocene epoch. All of these fossils were found in/along the water. Most interesting to me is a small pointed black fossil with deep crevices. I've never come across any like it and I haven't been able to find anything at all online to even give me a hint as to what it may be. The other bone fragments I found seem to come from flat bones, which suggest to me that they might be part of ribs or jaws. My best guess for the larger chunky bone in my pictures is that it might be part of an epiphysis, perhaps also from a rib. Another little find was a portion of something that looks like a tooth, but perhaps not a shark tooth. I also picked up a portion of what would have been a nice sized shark tooth, but I'm just not sure what kind of shark. Finally, I also found a couple of small white disks and am not sure what those are. I wanted to share these finds with you to see what you think they are! More detailed pictures to follow. Any help is much appreciated!
  16. Greetings! Before I mess this thing up, I wanted to ask what I should do with this piece from Calvert Cliffs, MD (Miocene). It is about 13 by 9 inches and is pretty thick, about 22 pounds so I have no idea how much bone is actualy in there. When I found it, it only had about 1/3rd of the bone showing. Once I started picking away with my dental picks, more and more bone started showing up (I didn't get to the end the bone in any particular direction) but unfortunately the material is getting tougher to pick away. So my questions are, does anyone know what it is right now, should I continue prepping and if so, would my dental picks and other small tools be okay to use? If we think it will end up being unidentifiable material, I may end up keeping it in the matrix - I actually think it looks pretty cool with the shells and ray tooth. Thanks!
  17. Eagle ray plate

    Hi guys, I am trying to get more information concerning this once in a lifetime find that a good friend recently gave to me. I believe that this specimen is eagle ray material that my life long friend found back in the 1970s. The two pieces of this specimen were found on the same beach about a YEAR apart. Anyway I thought of know better place to show this once in a lifetime find and get more information on this truly rare specimen. Regards ,Cliff Dweller
  18. A day at the beach

    Hi everyone, sorry I haven't been on TFF for awhile. Recently in April I had a work related meeting down in National Harbor, MD. A short ride south on the shores of the Potomac I spent about 2 or 3 hours one weekday morning after a rainy night. Thought some of you might like to see the pictures.
  19. Matoaka Cabins 5-26-18

    We took a trip down to the Matoaka Cabins in St. Leonard Maryland Saturday. I knew we weren't going to be making low tide in the morning or late in the evening, so we were there pretty much at high tide. The boys had fun playing in the sand and finding a few fossils. Our 2.5 year old actually found the first, he picked it up and asked if he found a fossil. We hung around for almost 4 hours before we headed pack home and beat the evening storms. Our 8 year old was thrilled to find fragments of ecphoras, chesapectans and ray dental plates. I found a few pieces of coral, a couple shark teeth, a possible fish vertebrae, and 4 mysterious bits that if I were to guess I would say 2 fish coprolites possibly and then the other 2 are maybe turtle or maybe croc scutes? The ruler in the pics is cm...because imperial is a pain.
  20. So, I found this today in the Paleocene Aquia Formation of Maryland. Obviously it can't be an ammonite, because they were already extinct. It's a Nautilus steinkern, right, not some sort of gastropod? Thanks! Matt
  21. Possible dino tooth from Calvert cliffs, MD

    Found this fossil fragment in Calvert cliffs, MD, believing it was some kind of tooth or perhaps a crab claw. It doesnt appear to be either since what look to be serrations are on the outside edge of the fossil. When looking at similar species found in the area, I was still unsure how to identify it. So I turn to you fossil forum! Can you help me figure out what this is?
  22. Was able to get the kayak out and if it's not the constant rain it's the heat!! But maybe my eyes are seeing something that's not actually there. It could be a ridiculously tiny Carcharias as well? The tip does not look broken even though the tooth is pretty heavily worn. I don't think I've found one this small though. I haven't found any teeth similar to this so that's why I'm asking the pros! The little cusp kinda throws me although I don't think the root has the defined c shaped that a Thresher would. I'm all kind of confused... it's amateur hour over here! The juvenile-ness of it makes it difficult for me. (also my lack of skill... yet!). Front: Rear: "Underneath:" From above: Thanks so much!
  23. Heeding advice from members here I decided to stay away from Brownie's and the cliffs due to the recent flood of rain that we've been getting (it's even sprinkling today) and headed to one of my favorite spots, Purse State Park! I stayed close to the entrance because by the time I got there the tide was already coming in, and I wanted to avoid the cliff-ier areas. The swimming snakes, cliff faces full of bees, and millions of floating spider webs acted as a decent deterrent as well! I actually walked a bit to the right and then on my way back walked past the entrance because of how high the water had come in... but as if it were meant to be I found my biggest tooth after I walked beyond the entrance! There was noticeable new material from the cliffs falling and down towards Douglas Point looked nearly impassable with a rather large cliff fall down that direction. And now for the teeth! I have one question about a tooth that I can't really identify. I am still new to the hobby and I am getting better about not going to Fossil ID every time something pops up but with not much experience sometimes that is hard! Only my second Otodus (maybe? I still am having a hard time with the Cretalamna's vs. Otodus) ever, still looking for that big one: My run of the mill finds, accompanied by a handful more that I didn't bother to take pics of: This one I'm a bit stumped but I'm sure everyone hear will have no problem with ID... it's fairly large so that's why I don't think it's just a Tiger or something similar but it's missing the cusps that would make it another species (if it were even supposed to have them). Any help would be appreciated! With finals finally over and a new kayak in tow I hope to have better and more in-depth reports this upcoming summer. I want to see if all of this armchair Google Earth imagery analyst pays off... haha. Just wanted to thank everyone on here because I've gathered so much knowledge even though I may not post much. I am still super new! Hopefully this is just a small start to the fossil hunting that this summer will bring! Almost forgot to mention that Purse is located in the Aquia formation of the Paleocene. Thanks for reading!
  24. Possible Maryland Arundel formation find

    Hi Guys, Thanks for the help on the Sturgeon ID last night folks. I have one more for you tonite, I acquired a supposed Possible early Cretaceous item from Prince George’s County Maryland. Anyway I could definitely use some help on this peculiar looking fossil. Thanks in advance folks I know somebody on the forum can nail this Alien looking creature down. The Cliff Dweller
  25. Just a heads up to anyone hunting the Potomac (especially) or Calvert cliffs. Stay away!!!! Do not even think about coming for at least a week and better off at 2 weeks or so if you value your life at all. Folks that know me know the area where I usually hunt and in the last 3 days here we've had 16+ inches of rain. It's been biblical. Out of curiosity (and after promising my wife I wouldn't go hunting) I peaked at the cliffs this am between storms and they are torn up as bad as I've ever seen. Hundreds of trees down with 1000+ ton land slides all over. In the 15 minutes I was there watching from a safe location I saw one giant slide and heard another. It is terrible and won't be stable enough to be safe to hunt for some time to come. Beyond that the mud will take a while to wash out. Seriously.... If you value your life stay away and don't be tempted. At my most obsessed I wouldn't have even tried it and that says a lot. Literally anyone that tried to go out today probably would have had a better than average chance of dying and a tooth isn't worth your life. I can't stress enough how bad it looks and it will take a few weeks of dry weather and some good wind to know down the loose stuff and for things to sort out anyways. Just my 2 cents but I've been doing this a while and know with so much material is down it will take months to sort out so a great summer is ahead. Don't rush it and you'll be around to enjoy it. Literally a year or two worth of erosion in 3 days. After thought.... I did hunt the small beach in front of our house some this am while playing with the kids. It almost never produces anything nice (99% small tigers, hemis, bulls, etc) as we are down stream from the formations but this am was different with the river pumping. 3 cows, 3 good makos (biggest almost 2 inches), and 3 nice hemis (biggest two right at 1.5 inches). Not a bad am for a beach where I might find 2 cows on all summer. Good luck to all. It's going to be a great summer if you stay patient and hunt safe/smart.