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Found 408 results

  1. This is part 2 of my Maryland fossil hunting trip on Chesapeake Bay. Be patient with me as I tell my stories. There are lots and lots of fossil pics to come, especially shark teeth from the Calvert Marine Museum. I know there is a Trip to the Museum section, but since many of the fossils I found hunting that day were on display at the museum I deemed it appropriate to combine the two in one post. I planned to drive to Matoaka Beach to hunt, but I would pass by the Calvert Marine Museum. Several people had recommended visiting it. @BobWill had even given me the name of someone who volunteered at the museum, Mike Elwoods. When I got there the turn was coned off. I had to drive 1/4 mile and circle back by another route. There was a field across from the museum filled with cars. It was just after 10:00 but there were people all over the place. It was Patuxant River Appreciation Day. A big community event with 2 live bands, free boat rides in a nice sail boat, free paddle boats and then the old fashioned row boat with ores. There was also face panting, little sailboat building tables ( the boats looked amazing for the little kids building them, with adult assistance of course). There were all kinds of venders and arts and craft booths and food and drink booths. On one end of the complex a good size stage with a rock band playing. On the other end there was a band playing jazz and big band music, think Benny Goodman, if you know who he was. I’ve been a fan of big band, Benny Goodman and Glen Miller since I was 12. My music tastes are pretty eclectic. I had to park about 1/4 mile down the street and walk past the quaint houses. I walked into the museum and up to the receptionist to buy a $9.00 ticket. She said that today everything was free. Yay!! I asked if there happened to be a Mike Elwoods there. She said yes and told me how to get to the prep lab. I followed her instructions, but came to a hands on fossil table where 2 men sat. I asked one of them if he could point me to Mike Elwoods. He said that was him. I introduced myself and told him Bob Williams said I should look him up. I told him I was a member of the DPS. Fossil tales and discussions ensued. I looked at the interactive material and took pics of a bunch of it. Here is what I did take pics of on the display table that you could touch and pick up. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of my photography. The museum was kind of a hit and run kind of thing so I was trying to get through it all quickly so I could get some good hunting in since this was my last day. A shark tooth display case on the table. This meg tooth was one of Mike’s recent finds. He let me hold it. He had a foam replica of a much larger one. The foam one was for kids to hold and look at. He said the smaller one’s like this are found around Maryland. The larger ones he said were found in more recent formations in the Carolina’s. I found a number of single bar fragments at Brownie’s Beach of at least 3 kinds I think, but I thought it was cool to see the bite surface is the smooth surface. In hind sight I wish I had gotten straight on pics of each of these little shark teeth cards. These were easier to photograph than those on display, which were in poor lighting and behind glass. I believe the loose pieces are crocodile material not dolphin. I did find one of these Only mine is a bit more translucent. These are dolphin ear bones. The one on the left is phosphatized. I took many pics at the museum. I’ll share more of those later. He wanted me to come to the prep lab to show me a bunch of echinoids he had recently found, which had fallen from the cliffs near his home on the bay. I happily obliged. The prep lab was small, but the shelves were lined with cool fossils found in the cliffs and on beaches of the area. These are the echinoids he found that he wanted to show me. There were boxes of them unprepped on the shelf. I think he said he found 60 something. Don’t quote me though. There was a work table in the middle of the small room with a plaster cast with a whale jaw in it in the process of being prepped. The skull was in a box on a cart at the end of the table. You can see the ear bone there in the middle. The whale jaw. He said they were almost done with this side, then they were going to plaster it, flip it over and prep the other side. I asked what glue they were using on it. He said B-var, but I can’t remember which. I think 72. He said the skull had been found in the cliffs on the beach nearby after a recent avalanche. When they cast it and removed it another whale skull was found behind it. That one was supposedly still in the cliff. Later in the day I found out exactly where it was found. These are other whale items on the shelves. I saw this and my jaw dropped in awe of the coolness factor and how it looked. I thought it was glued together or contrived somehow, but things are as they found them. It was found on a beach outside of St. Mary’s City. He said this is all reworked material. Nobody even recognized the material or knew of any place with this kind of matrix with this mix of fauna in it. It was found washed up on the beach. I don’t have any starfish in my echinoid collection, but I think a starfish would be in my top 5 bucket list of things to find. I recently found a site about 2 hrs from where I live where they have been found. So I’m Jones’n To take a trip there. Trilobites are in the fauna list too for the site near me. I don’t expect I’ll find either, but I gotta try. Anyway, Mike said to his knowledge starfish had The color is a little off in the pic. The matrix is a light gray without a yellow component in it as best I recall, like what is seen in the 2nd pic. This is a close up of one of the starfish with shell material in it. I see phosphatized gastropods and 2 species of turitella I think. This was on tje workbench in front of the prep room observation window. I commented on how cool it was and was in the process of taking a pic of it when Mike said “Oh, the scallop? We have lots of those.” He pulled a box of shells from the shelf with large gastropods, sea shells and scallops. He held it out and told me to “ Take what I wanted.” I chose a large complete scallop valve. I’ll post it in the next post.
  2. Brownie’s Beach bone fragments ID

    I was in Maryland last week for a work conference. After the conference finished on Friday I headed out to hunt at Brownie’s Beach. I found a lot of little stuff. Nothing big. Anyway, many of the bone fragments are chunkosaurus. But I think these may be identifiable. I have put them in 2 rows of 4 each. Row 1 are 1-4 left to right. Row 2 are 5-8 left to right. First pic is top side. 2nd pic is the bottom. 1. I think could be a fragment of vertebra, maybe where the spinous process attached. 2. Maybe a piece of turtle shell? 3. A scute from a turtle or something. 4. Possibly a rib fragment. One end tapers pretty thin and it has a curve to it. 5. Is a mammal vertebra 6. It may be nothing. It is very hard and may just be a phosphatized piece of something. It has a bit of texture of eroded keratin or something. I’m guessing it’s nothing, but wanted to ask. 7. Maybe a fragment of turtle shell or bone. The hole on it is curious, but looks like eroded bone. 8. It has an unusual, convoluted surface texture, but from the side it is unmistakably bone. Could it be turtle? My 2nd guess is a fragment of an epiphysis or vertebral disk, but it doesn’t really look like that pattern. I can provide more pics of any of the items if needed. Thanks for comment or insight. I’ve never hunted this type of environment or formation before so it was all new to me.
  3. Last week I flew out to Baltimore for a conference for my work. The conference ended Friday morning. I had arranged to stay through Sunday in Maryland to go fossil hunting. Friday afternoon I caught an Uber to a car rental place and then drove the rental car down to Brownie's beach on Chesapeake Bay. It was about a 90 minute drive. The drive was beautiful once I got past Annapolis. It was lush and green with many farms and homes on large pieces of land. It started sprinkling just after I got on highway 2. I made it to the area now named Bayfront Park. The park seemed to consist of maybe 20 parking spots max with a trail of maybe 0.1 miles down to the beach. Along the path were small signs on stakes identifying some of the local trees. There were no facilities present. I parked my car. It was still sprinkling. I changed my shoes, put on ball cap and sweater to provide some protection from the rain. I was wearing capris so that I could walk in the water a bit. The temperatures had been in the 80s most of the time I had been in Maryland, but that day it was in the mid 60s. I arrived around 2:30 PM. Low tide was not till 6:40. I didn't know what to expect. I was told to turn right to head to the cliffs. So I did. The beach consisted of maybe 20 feet of sand between the woods and the water. There may have been 800 meters of beach between the entry point and where the shore made a sharp 90 degree turn east, making an L shape where a small cove was. The bank ran maybe 50 feet east before making a 90 degree turn going south again. The beach was littered with dead horseshoe crabs big and small. There were not any shells or anything much else on the beach. There were quite a few shell fragments of fossilized shells. Some had pretty patterns on them. There was a family with 4-5 young children on the beach. The dad was hunting for shark teeth with a screen and colander. Other than the family there was no one else on the beach, but there were 3 cars in the parking lot when I arrived. So, at least 2 other people had to be somewhere along the beach. About 20 minutes after I made it to the beach a local man came down onto the beach for a walk. He stopped to talk to me and asked what I was doing. He said he had hunted shark teeth there for years, but had quit hunting and just came down to walk the beach for the enjoyment of it. Oops sorry folks my computer is a laptop and a bit glitchy and somehow it posted this before I was done. I am still working on it. I'll get there eventually. Piece by piece.
  4. Two unknowns from Brownies Beach

    Hi everyone. I found this small cap-like structure at Brownies beach last Saturday. It is around 1.5 cm across. The second is 3.5 cm long and 1.9 cm tall. Any help id-ing these would be appreciated, as always.
  5. I have been at a conference for my work in Baltimore all week. My conference ends tomorrow and then I plan to go get a rental car and head south to the Chesapeake Bay area to do some hunting or wherever else I can find to hunt. Even just getting out to hike in a nice quiet place would be nice if tides are too high to hunt the beaches. I will be leaving Baltimore around noon and returning home on Sunday noonish I think. I can't remember my departure time, but it is in the afternoon. I have not worked out any of the details other than rental car and a possible low budget place to stay. The most affordable I found was in Lexington Park area. I have not figured out tides and all that. I am a tad nervous. As a single woman in Texas I think I can handle myself out in the wild. I am not sure about the Chesapeake Bay area. It does not seem so remote. I am not sure if there are areas that are unsafe for a woman to be alone in. I have never hunted this type of environment before. When I go hunting in Texas I know what to watch out for. I usually go to very remote places where I rarely ever see anyone. Rattlesnakes, water moccasins and wild hogs are my main concerns when hunting in Texas. I know what to take and what to wear. So, I would appreciate any input with regards to what to look out for, how to be safe, where to find tide info and what not to do kind of stuff. Comments appreciated.
  6. Miocene Mystery Mammal Vertebra

    Miocene, probably mammal bone. Hoping for some clue to the animal. Doesn't look like a piece of cetacean vertebra, but obviously has the hole for the spinal cord. HELP!!!!
  7. Calvert Cliffs MD bone ID

    Hello! I found this bone at Brownies Beach (Calvert Cliffs MD, Miocene) and have been trying to figure out what it is with no luck. Anyone know? All help is greatly appreciated. Thanks! -Frank
  8. Lower Cretaceous form

    Found this little item in my rock bar that has me stumped. Has too much form to be a "concretion", but not enough to try to get a bone ID. It came from a Maryland Creek in the Arundel "formation" Potomac "group".
  9. I have been working on a chunk of dried matrix from Matoaka. As I dusted it off with a brush, I noticed this mesh-like material. The photo is magnified 4x, & the mesh is estimated at 4 cm across. It looks very thin & fragile, so I am not sure if I should try to remove it or just leave it be for now. This is the largest chunk that I have at home, so you know it will kill me to leave it like that. I also found a tiny little ecphora & a tiny crab claw in the same matrix, so I know it is good material. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!
  10. Help with fossil.

    Found at flag pond park in Maryland. Not like any of the shark teeth I found.
  11. creek find 3

    Arundel Formation. Maryland. Lower Cretaceous. What say you?
  12. Creek 2

    Thoughts on this?
  13. Creek find

    Any idea what this is? Arundel Formation, Maryland, Lower Cretaceous.
  14. Flag Ponds Fossils

    Since I am brand new to Miocene fossils, I’m hoping the Fossil Forum community can help me identify the following fossils I found at Flag Ponds over Labor Day weekend. Group 1 - Cetacean or impressions left by invertebrates?
  15. Spore?

    Splitting some mud stone/ shale from Arundel f and found this little beast. Shale is a misnomer too. But it was a noticeably "layered" piece of float in the College Park area. it is small. The fibers are from a q-tip, so maybe 1/16 of an inch, or slightly larger. Hard to photograph because of the dark background. Added 2 from a different device.
  16. Yesterday I followed the stream that starts in my backyard to the bay. Went north a bit and saw what looked like a piece of lignite in a small slab of cliff about to fall, tapped it with my machete(needed for clearing brush, spider webs, maybe a copperhead Lol!) and it made an unexpected clink instead of the mush that lignite usually is. My extraction method would probably make you guys puke but yes, I used my machete to slice until free. It was high tide, waves splashing against me and cliff, also had two impatient boys and two dogs in tow so it was quick and dirty. Anyway, it ended up being a pretty large bone. Probably whale/dolphin rib, maybe flipper?? IDK... Looks like some sort of joint at one end. Kinda wonder if a whole skeleton is buried in the cliff????
  17. Canine Conundrum

    Hi everyone. I found this tooth at Matoaka on Saturday, August 25th. It tinks when I tap it on china, or up against shark teeth. It is hollow. Fellow fossil hunter, JPC, suggested it is a mammalian canine tooth. Question is, which one? Any suggestions? The ruler is in cm. It looks basically the same on both sides.
  18. Any Maryland Eocene sites?

    Hello everyone, I don’t know if I put this in the right place, mods and admins feel free to move it. I am getting jealous of the transitional Otodus and auriculatus I am seeing from the Potomac. These, I assume, are from the Nanjemoy Formation. While every now and then some of this will wash to the Paleocene aged Aquia Formation of Purse state park, it is not reliable. I’d like to hunt Maryland’s Eocene so I can cross that off my list. Now there is also the secretive Old Church formation which exists, but I have not heard much about it. Are there any sites that are accessible by land? Regrettably, the family car has no attachment area for a boat carrier, and a kayak won’t fit in it (and I’ve never kayaked the Potomac so I don’t know how fast the currents are). If there is a person to contact to ask for permission, I’d be fine with that. Any leads would be appropriate, typically I’d take matters into my own hands but info is scarce and the geologic map shows the overlying Pleistocene and Holocene deposits rather than the Eocene. Don’t hesitate to PM me. Thanks!
  19. Ironstone from MD

    I will leave this without comment also, for your interpretation.
  20. Arundel/ Patuxent find

    I will leave this for your interpretation without comment.
  21. I apologize for the picture...I don’t have the tooth with me to take a better one. Just curious if anyone knows what kind of shark the larger tooth belonged to? It’s 1 and 1/2 inches tall and was found on the beach at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland. It’s the only one i’ve found where the base of the tooth is as wide as the top so i’m curious what kind it is. The edges are smooth.
  22. Pseudo or other?

    I have been looking at this and can't decide if it's something or not. I leave it to the experts. Personally I thought concretion until I saw the belt. It looks like a squashed acorn, but I don't believe there were oaks in Lower Cretaceous. Thoughts? No, it's not a human artifact.
  23. Part three to my safekeeping series. These are some of my finds from the middle Devonian Mahantango Formation of Maryland. Unlike the other formations I posted about, this one is pretty well known for it's fossil contents, so I will keep the introduction and background brief. For those who don't know the Mahantango is a middle Devonian aged marine shale that's part of the Hamilton Group in Maryland. For the most part it's fauna is dominated by brachiopods, but occasional gastropods, tentaculitids, and other animals show up as well. It was deposited in a shallow inland sea with the depth of the sea varying over time. This is only a small fraction of what I have, but it's some of the best. Image 1: Spiriferid brachiopod, Mucrospirifer mucronatus? Image 2: Some odd fragment (possibly trilobite related?) with a M. mucronatus. Image 3: M. mucronatus.
  24. Matoaka Beach 8-12-18

    I packed up my gear and wandered along the Matoakan cliffs for my thousandth time now (that's what it feels like) and had a half decent day. I found two teeth with guesses for both that I want to ask y'all for conformation, and some weird scute type things. Scutes: Tooth One: Thresher? 1/2 inch in size Tooth Two: Baby Meg or Silky? Final Finds Thanks Guys! I may also add that I felt so miffed when someone pulled up a big meg from a clay boulder I was going to go to next. Its like the Shark Tooth gods are against me. What sacrilege have I committed?
  25. This is a retcon of an earlier post I had. Cambrian fossils aren't something one thinks of when they think of Maryland fossil hunting, and perhaps for good reason. The Cambrian rocks of the state are poorly exposed, those few areas where they do outcrop usually being gobbled up in urban sprawl. Compared to sites elsewhere like in Utah or York, Pennsylvania, the Maryland Cambrian is also rather barren. You could probably count on both hands the number of macrospecies in the entire early and middle Cambrian section of the state. But this rarity only makes collecting in it that much more interesting! Luckily for me I'm pretty close by most of these formations, so I have a decent knowledge of the area and outcrops, but even then it took a decent amount of time researching and scouting to find a site. The most recent formation I visited was the Araby Formation. Up until the mid 20th century the Araby was considered part of the Antietam Sandstone further west in the Blue Ridge, but after some more studies done on the formation it was found that it's lithological character was distinct enough to warrant it being a separate unit. Whereas the Antietam is a white quartz sandstone (much like the Oriskany I posted about yesterday) deposited in a beach-like environment, the Araby was deposited in deeper water (compared to the Antietam) and is more a mixture of siltstones, shales, phyllites, and slates. Together with the Antietam the Araby has some of the oldest fossils in the state dating back to the early Cambrian period some 540 million years ago. This makes it the oldest formation in the Frederick Valley. For those that don't know the Frederick Valley is a predominantly limestone syncline in west central Maryland (I consider it western Maryland, but most people probably wouldn't). At it's core is the early Ordovician Grove Limestone (which has practically no fossils), and on it's flanks are the late Cambrian Frederick Limestone (fossiliferous in parts, but those parts are very rare) and finally the Araby Formation. The Araby takes up positions along the far flanks of the valley, and it's eastern boundary with the metamorphic rocks of the Westminster Terrane marks the Martic Fault (no Washingtonians you don't need to worry about a San Andrea, from what I've read the Martic has been inactive for a long, long time). Due to it's sediment type and that of the surrounding rocks, the Araby is also a minor ridge forming unit, holding up the series of hills that flank Frederick Valley's eastern edge. These hills are nicely visible from the grounds of Monocacy National Battlefield, which is also of interest for marking the site of the northernmost Confederate victory (July 9, 1864 for those who're curious) in the Civil War. This ridge forming aspect means that, although very thin and covering a very small area, the Araby Formation has multiple exposures throughout the Frederick Valley. Some of the better ones are visible along I-70 just east of it's crossing over Monocacy River (an MGS team found some trilobites there) and MD-355 as you drive through the woods before hitting Araby Church Road (I believe the namesake for the formation is actually the Araby Church). In terms of fossils the Araby is almost exclusively dominated by the trace fossil Skolithos linearis, an annelid worm burrow. Other fossils found in it, however, include echinoderms and Olenellus sp. trilobites. As another aside the Cash Smith Shale, once held as an independent formation, also has trilobites and I believe inarticulate brachiopods reported from it, however it is no longer considered an independent formation but rather a member of the Araby Formation. Almost all of my fossils were the worm burrows, still cool but for everyone's sake I won't constantly repeat what they are this time around. Image 1: The largest burrow I've found. I originally thought it was a genal spine from a trilobite due to it's size. Image 2: Cross section of a burrow, outlined by the iron oxide stain. Image 3: Another burrow, this one roughly outlined by the iron oxide. Image 4: The large tubular structure covered in iron oxide (you might be noticing a pattern here with the oxides and burrows. I can't say definitively if they're connected in some way, but oftentimes you'll find the one with the other).