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Found 10 results

  1. Croc tooth? Aquia formation

    Hello all, first post on the forums despite joining awhile ago. Last winter I was fortunate enough to have some serious luck at Purse State Park in 2 consecutive trips while I was on break. Thanks to @Williamb55I was able to finally muster some motivation to seek some help to ID what I believe is a Crocodile tooth and Otodus from the Paleocene Epoch. Of course this could be inaccurate but I would love some insight into my find, comments and replies are appreciated. Best, DF
  2. Hi, We are doing a unit on geology/paleontology in our homeschool with the fossils we find. I was wondering if anyone knows the difference between the Aquia and Nanjemoy formations. I know wikipedia is not perfect but I am not an expert and it lists them as separate formations albeit both from the Paleogene. I have read Paleocene/Eocene border for the Aquia formation. Is that correct? The Nanjemoy formation I had not read about before today. Is it just the same thing on the Maryland side of the River instead of the Virginia side? Thanks for the help, Kate
  3. Purse state park bivalve?

    Hi everyone, During a trip to Purse state park in Nanjemoy MD, I found an odd "rock" while looking for sharks teeth. It appears to be shaped like some kind of mussel or other bivalve. Any ideas what it might be? Unfortunately I don't have anything to measure it with, but it is approximately 2 1/2 inches long.
  4. Fossil tour guide?

    Hi there! my name is Tim George. I am fairly new to the fossil hunting hobby and was wondering if anyone knew someone who could perhaps take me and my dad on a fossil hunting trip. I am looking for people who do tours of either the Calvert formation,Aquia formation, or the Nanjemoy formation. Thank you.
  5. Tooth ID

    Hey everyone! I found this particular tooth at Purse back in March and have had no luck IDing it. Any ideas? I'm loving the colors on it though. The other side has an awesome dappled grey appearance.
  6. Purse Park today

    I went to Purse today for a few hours and this is what I came up with. Not as impressive as last time, but I still enjoyed my day. I didn't find anything absolutely amazing, but I did find a teeny vertebra piece. I am sad though, as I had planned to head to Calvert tomorrow but unfortunately my car began acting up so I had to drive all the way back to RVA.
  7. Purse State Park 03/26/18

    I'm back! A long spring break presented me with the opportunity to go out on a few fossil trips. I just haven't gotten around to posting until now. But here we go! After finding over 600 shark teeth in one day at Purse State Park, how could I not go back? With the stress of school completely absent from my mind, I went down to the park along the Potomac River for another day searching for Paleocene fossils. I arrived early, as I always try to, and I was the only one there when I arrived. Instead of heading to the left of the entrance as I did on my first trip, I decided to start by going right. After all, that was where I found my beloved Otodus tooth! This ended up being a good decision. For about the first hour, I wasn't finding teeth quite as often as my first outing, and this was a bit discouraging. However, as the sun rose higher into the sky, I started finding teeth left and right. I believe I was the only true fossil hunter at the site for the whole day; only a family or two with their children showed up for about an hour each and headed out. The one other person I did meet, however, was a man who was searching not for fossils, but for driftwood. Apparently he makes some pretty awesome sculptures with the wood he collects. He was pacing the beach with a heavy chainsaw. I originally thought he may have been after sharks teeth as well, but he assured me that "the teeth are all yours, buddy!" A matter of seconds after he said that, I picked up a small tooth that looked unlike anything I'd found at Purse before. Holding it closer to my face, I saw serrations on the blade. I knew it could only be one thing: Palaeocarcharodon! I was jumping with joy! It was a very small tooth, but very pretty. I was climbing through a big clump of fallen trees and logs when I found it. More proof that looking in obscure areas is worth it! The tide was rising. I kept further from the entrance, finding more of the usual Sand Tigers along the way. I made it to the duck hunting post, and turned around. Although the tide was reaching high up the beach, I thought going to the left would still be worth a shot. I walked a little faster than usual to reach the cliff area before it was too late to access them. I hardly found anything on my way there, and by the time I did reach the cliffs, the tide was almost completely engulfing that section of the beach. So I made my way back towards the entrance. The tide was reaching higher and higher up the beach, and I realized that I would likely have to leave soon because there would be no more beach to hunt on. So I made one last quick run to the right, because that seemed to be the side I was having much better luck with. With the palaeocarcha as my undisputed "trip maker", I would have been more than happy to have only found some more Sand Tigers on the last run. But Purse State Park was feeling extra generous that day. Searching high up onto the beach, I looked down to see a beautiful gold-colored Otodus tooth sitting right out in the open. It wasn't very large, but it was complete with both cusps and all. A true beauty. And if that wasn't enough, literally no more than 12 inches from that tooth I had just picked up was another big shark tooth! But this one wasn't an Otodus. No, it was ANOTHER Palaeocarcharodon! And this one was much bigger than my first! I couldn't believe that I found TWO of the most sought after tooth from the Paleocene Era. And with that, I left Purse State Park with a box filled to the brim with fossils. Overall, this trip was amazing! Perhaps even better than my first outing to Purse. I highly recommend going to this site if you love finding sharks teeth, and lots of them! Hoppe hunting!
  8. Finally made it out to Purse State Park, now known as Nanjemoy Wildlife Management Area, yesterday. I had read that there was no beach to speak of at high tide, but wow! Low tide yesterday was at 11:15. We got there at 12:30 and there was already almost no beach! If only we'd gone when @RCW3D went two weeks ago! The air temp was a balmy 50 degrees, but the water temp, not so warm. Did that stop us? No. Did we get frostbite? Maybe. We weren't expecting to have to go wading when we left the house 3 hours earlier, so warm, waterproof shoes were not with us. We went barefoot on the chilly sand, wading occasionally, then warming our feet again. That way, we had warm, dry shoes and socks for the trip home. The only fossiliferous exposure we found, admittedly not going far north as we'd have had to wade waist-deep, was between the two trail openings. There is an exposure of the Aquia Formation that reaches about 10 feet above beach level there. The cliffs further north are much higher, but empty, so not a lot to look at along the walls. That's okay, most people don't go to Purse to look at the walls anyway. There were plenty of teeth to be found on the beach until our toes got numb. I dug a hole in the sand in front of the fossiliferous exposure and to my joy found some blocks of matrix buried there after they'd fallen from the cliffs. There was also a complete oyster hanging in mid-air from a fine tree root, three feet above the ground, that I managed to slide off without so much as nicking the root bark. Ha! As an added bonus, I got to enjoy the forsythias blooming on the beach! There are almost no fossil shells on the beach. They are so punky in the cliffs that they just disintegrate when they are exposed. However, I am optimistic that when my blocks dry out I'll have some nice specimens that I can eek out with some dental picks, paleobond, and patience. I also brought home a backpack full of micro matrix to sift. Never know what might be lurking in there!
  9. Mystery Fragment from Purse State Park

    Hi all, This little fragment was one of my many finds at my first trip to Purse State Park. I've posted a trip report; go check it out if you haven't already. Although I found hundreds of fossils, I had very little trouble with identification as the formations at Purse only yield a handful of fossil species. But this one strange fragment has got me stumped. It's about 3/4 of an inch and pretty thin. One side is very bumpy with a small, smooth protrusion in the middle. The other side is very smooth with no bumps but some very tiny holes. It looks somewhat similar to a few of the crocodile and turtle fossils found along the Maryland Potomac coast that I've seen online. My best guess is that it is a scute of some kind due to the protrusion on the bumpy side, or perhaps a skull fragment. Again, I'm really not sure with this one. Any help would be much appreciated. It's always exciting to find something a little different! Thanks. Hoppe hunting!
  10. Purse State Park 12/22/17

    There are so many testaments to Purse State Park being a fantastic fossil collecting site online, and because of this I thought I’d go there myself and test my luck. I kept on hearing about quantity, and how Purse yields more fossil sharks teeth per trip than just about any other local site. I was blown away when reading that people come home from a single trip with hundreds of teeth, and of decent size and quality too! And so a few days before Christmas, I packed up my gear and made my way across the border and down the Potomac to Purse State Park.The drive there was just fine, and the park is very secluded, unlike some other common sites. Perhaps its isolation contributes to its lack of a crowd in comparison to the Calvert Cliffs. The park is quite difficult to find as it is not clearly marked; I actually drove past it at first and had to turn around! The parking lot is on the left side of the road, and you have to cross the road to get to the trail. The hike is a little under a mile, which can be a pain if you have a lot of gear. It’s also practically in the middle of nowhere, so be cautious. Eventually, you’ll find yourself on a very nice little beach along the Potomac River. The cliffs run along the majority of the beach, and you can even see the exposed shells and cliff mix in the lower layers of some parts. In terms of area, this site is astonishing! There is at the very least a mile of beach, not to mention the fact that you can venture far past that thanks to the high tide line law in Maryland. You really could just keep walking, and I did just that, but even then I couldn’t cover all of the area even in the eight or nine hours that I hunted. If your looking for a place to hunt where there’s more beach than you know what to do with, head down to Purse.The fossils found here are from the Paleocene Era, much older than the Miocene exposures at the Calvert Cliffs. They are approximately 60 million years old, which is nearly dinosaur aged! One area where Purse does lack, however, is variety. Although you may find loads of teeth, they will all likely belong to only a handful of species unlike the Calvert Cliffs that yield hundreds of different species. This being said, the species found at Purse State Park are fascinating. The majority of teeth found will be those of extinct Sand Tiger Sharks, although you are able to find ray plates and mackerel shark teeth as well. Maybe you'll even be lucky enough to uncover a dreaded Otodus!I got to the park just a few minutes after sunrise, making for a beautiful sight. Once I began searching, I quickly learned that my shovel and sifter were rendered near useless, as I was finding teeth left and right by simply using my eyes. Surface hunting allowed me to cover a lot more distance in a lot shorter time, and I also began developing an eye for sharks teeth; there were a few time I spotted a nice tooth with only the root showing in the gravel or sand! The air temperature was not too bad, but the water was absolutely frigid and I had to take multiple breaks to avoid losing feeling in my hands completely. I tried to cover as much beach as possible without going too fast and missing teeth, and I was quite successful in doing so. To the left of the entrance, I walked for at least a mile finding tons of teeth, and I eventually stumbled upon a large and complete Turritella mold! I had found tiny fragments towards the entrance, but I was ecstatic with this find. But then, I found another. And another. When I looked up I realized I was standing right by a multitude of cliff falls that were full of these Gastropod fossils! There were hundreds of them, both in the rocks and freshly washed into the surf beneath them. I picked up the prettiest ones I could find, even carefully prying one out of the matrix. As sunset approached, I had found hundreds of fossils including teeth, plates, molds, and possible bones (turned out to be pseudofossils). But aside from some good sized sand tigers, I didn’t have anything too spectacular. But in the last hour of searching, I turned over an object that was mostly buried in the sand. To my delight, it was a nearly complete Otodus tooth! My first relatively large tooth, and a great way to end a great day of hunting! Otodus obliquus was a giant shark, nearly 35 feet in length, that was likely the ancestor to megatooth sharks like Megalodon. And since Megalodon was not alive during the Paleocene, I’d argue that finding a tooth from its great great Grandpa is just as cool! And with that, I found another handful or two of teeth on the way back to my bag and began to leave as the sun set over the horizon. On the way out, I got to share my finds with a family who was walking their dog along the beach. They were the only other people I saw in the park all day long; other than that I had the site to myself. I said a big thank you to Purse State Park, and hit the road.In total, I found an incredible 619 sharks teeth, along with over 50 other fossils! Like I said, this site delivers when it comes to quantity. Some of my favorite finds are the large Otodus in the middle, the Turritella, and the long and complete Sand Tigers. I was only able to display so many teeth before my space was overcrowded, and I had to put the rest in a pile. I am beyond happy with the results from this trip; it was by far my most productive trip yet. I hope you all enjoy seeing my finds and hearing my report, and I hope you’ll pay a visit to Purse! As always, Hoppe Hunting!
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