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Found 95 results

  1. Potomac fossils ID

    I recently bought this display case of fossils from the Potomac at a flea market. Being from Illinois, I'm not familiar with these fossils. Can anyone help IDing these or at least directing me to somewhere I can look them up myself?
  2. I have to say that today was a fun day, I took @Darktooth and his family out for some fossil hunting along the Miocene areas of the Potomac. We had a beautiful day for it, just wish that the clouds that had been forecasted would have showed because it became extremely hot out there! Nevertheless, we persisted and spent about 5 hours looking for fossils and we were all wiped out by the time we got back. I know that Darktooth will be posting his own report, the following is just what my daughter and I found. I had a great time with you Darktooth, I hope you and your family enjoy the rest of your vacation! Total haul of our "small stuff" Nice "doorstop" whale vert A nice hastalis, really the only tooth I found Crab, I just started to look for these. Never really had the eye for them before. My daughter found this piece of fish jaw with a tooth in it. She really didn't know what she had but thought it looked neat and put it in her bag. I found this fish vert in a chunk of matrix A couple of small shark verts A little ecphora Now for the really cool find, definitely a trip maker and my best find this year...three attached verts that have been tentatively identified as marlin. Dr. Weems will get a look at them on Monday so I may get an updated ID then.
  3. Scallop

    From the album Virginia Miocene

    Chesapectin nefrens Westmoland County, VA Choptank Formation Middle Miocene C. nefrens is fairly common in the Choptank Formation, but the level of sculptural detail preserved in this particular specimen just blew me away when I gently brushed off the loose sediment.
  4. Scallop

    From the album Virginia Miocene

    Chesapectin nefrens Westmoland County, VA Choptank Formation Middle Miocene C. nefrens is fairly common in the Choptank Formation, but the level of sculptural detail preserved in this particular specimen just blew me away when I gently brushed off the loose sediment.
  5. Maryland Adventures

    I finally was able to take the family down for a short trip to Maryland this past weekend in hopes of finding some shark teeth. Despite the heavy crowds everywhere we went we able to have a fun filled weekend. We started off Saturday morning and were the first on the beach at Flag Ponds Nature Park. The tide was coming in but we still managed to pick up a few teeth. Our best find there was a nice mako, almost and inch. We stayed there until lunch, took a break and went off to Matoaka cottages for the afternoon/evening. We didn’t find nearly as many teeth there but were able to find a few nice hemi’s, the biggest being right around the 1 inch mark. Sunday morning we got up and made made our way over to Purse Park. We got there around 11am and were met with a full parking lot. I was a little discouraged knowing it would be crowded but we went ahead to the beach. Wow was I glad we did! In about 3 hours of searching time we managed to scoop up around 200 teeth! Most of the teeth were very small but we did find a few nicer ones there as well. Overall I’d consider the weekend a complete success! This was our first trip with fossil hunting as the specific focus. Despite the heavy crowds everywhere we went, we still managed to bring home over 200 teeth, at least 50 ray plates, and numerous other miscellaneous fossils. I can’t wait to go back!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Miocene Mystery Shell

    Okay, here's a weird one for any shell people out there. Found this on the Potomac's beach where the cliffs have Eastover, St Mary's and Choptank FM exposures. At first, it was a blob of clay with what looked like a hinge showing at one end. I chalked it up to oyster or mussel. Brough it home, cleaned it up most of the way and said, "What the heck?" The texture is really strange. It's convex where I would expect it to be concave. It's lumpy, but not heavily sculptured. I took it to some people who were more familiar with the spot and/or knew something about vertebrates, in case my mollusk assessment was totally off. No, looks like invertebrate of some kind, they said. I've identified and catalogued over 70- species from the cliffs, pouring over the same references for countless hours. There are a few approximately the right shape, given how broken it is, and have similar parallel growth lines, but the texture and lumps???? And that weird ridge 1/2 of the length from the beak? Multiple shells overlapping? Again I say, "What the heck?"
  9. Real Stumper

    Okay, I concede early on that this may be abiotic, but I just have this gut feeling that it's not an accidental pattern. I found this on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia. The geology there is mostly early to mid-Miocene clays with a Pleistocene terrestrial bog iron layer on top of 40 to 80 ft cliffs overlooking the river. All fossil-bearing. This looks like clay, but I'm not positive that it is from the Miocene layers. There is a row of tiny lumps all about the same ship and almost in a contiguous line. One is just a little offset.
  10. Mystery Scapula

    I found this scapula this weekend along the Potomac River in Virginia. It's a vertebrate. That's all I know for sure. Most of the cliff next to the beach where I found it is miocene marine, but the very top is pleistocene terrestrial. The grid is in inches.
  11. Maryland Paleocene 2/17/19

    Headed out to the potomac this morning and man was it nice out. Hit low tide and made my way to the cliffs, which all fallen right now btw. Found some nice sand tigers today’s and some smaller beaten otodus. Highlights of the day were a nice little croc tooth and a croc vert which is a first for me. I don’t seem to find much bone in the Aquia formation.
  12. Hello everyone, I will be visiting the Washington DC area, and want to take a trip to the Potomac to hunt for some shark teeth. Can anyone suggest a good area, and possibly some gear to wear this time of year? I normally wear a wet suit and waterproof boots for this sort of thing and stay relatively warm, so I'm not too worried about the cold. I am looking for a spot with easy access, and preferably not private property, unless someone is willing to let me search on their land. I have never been to the Potomac before, so any suggestions are welcome! Thank you!
  13. Looks like a claw

    I found this while hunting for shark teeth at Purse state park in Maryland. It looks like a claw, any help would be appreciated.
  14. Went to look for shark teeth the other day on the potomac, md side. Found small teeth, and also a rock that looks interesting. Has some crystal or something on it. Any one have any ideas?
  15. I would consider 2016 to be the year that my fossil hunting career really took off, I had spent trips prior to this grooming and developing my skills and it began to show in this period. My school vacations have always been the time where I've been able to get out into the field and go fossil hunting, this particular opportunity was afforded to me by my class trip to Washington D.C. which then lead into my April vacation. Having devised a plan to go fossil hunting before leaving, my dad picked me up at the end of the DC visit before the rest of the group took the grueling bus ride back to NH. From there we went south to Charles county, MD with the intention of going to Purse State Park in hopes of finding some Paleocene shark teeth. And find them we did! After parking, we walked down a trail which led down to the waterfront and a long strip of gravely beach. I soon found out just how bountiful this area could be when looking in the right places. At the end of the day we had found plenty of Shark's teeth and ray dental plates. The majority of the teeth came from various species of sand tiger sharks which patrolled the waters of the greater D.C. area 59 million years ago when it was covered by a warm shallow sea. Here's the haul we had after a few hours collecting.
  16. [WARNING: As is my custom, this trip report is exceedingly long, verbosely worded, and copiously illustrated with photos.] (It may be a good idea to find a comfy chair and grab a drink and some popcorn.) Since Tammy's retirement earlier this year, we've been busier than ever. We finally made it to Iceland this summer and saw dozens (if not literally hundreds) of waterfalls in that geologically interesting country. While talking about waterfalls ("fossar" in Icelandic), Tammy had realized that I had somehow not yet seen Niagara Falls. Tammy did not do a lot of vacation traveling when she was younger but had visited Niagara several times in her youth. She decided it was high time I experienced the power of Niagara. It could have been a simple trip--a flight up to Buffalo, a day out on a boat getting drenched at the base of the falls, and home again with little more than a long weekend invested. Somehow though, I have a remarkable knack for constructing enormously detailed travel itineraries--and this trip was no exception. Our anniversary month is October and so with the prospect of some multi-chromatic autumn foliar displays we decided that we'd plan a roadtrip that included Niagara Falls as its underlying motivation. It didn't take me long to realize that there are a lot of great TFF members up in the New York and Ontario area. Additionally, some members from the Virginia/Maryland area suggested meeting up during our last roadtrip through the Carolinas but that trip was already lengthy and involved. Perhaps, I could combine visits with a number of TFF members along the way and do a roadtrip down the Eastern Seaboard? As I started contacting prospective members to get the idea kickstarted, the starting point of our trip changed and we tacked on several extra days to the start of our trip. My brother and his wife had just bought a new house in the north side of Chicago. He decided that since all of the family holidays (Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas) were already claimed by other family members that he would start the tradition of Oktoberfest at their house--first Saturday of October. The itinerary for our trip was still in its early stages so we were easily able to incorporate a trip up to Chicago and link it to the start of our roadtrip. We considered flying from Chicago to Buffalo and picking the rental car there but the cheaper airfares were (not surprisingly) at rather inconvenient times (who wants to check into a hotel in the wee hours of the morning?) but an alternative soon presented itself. Since one of the places we'd hoped to visit along the way was the Devonian Hungry Hollow site in Arkona, ON, we'd have to backtrack west if we started in Buffalo but it would be conveniently along the route if we simply picked up the rental car in Chicago and started the roadtrip from there. This also allowed us the opportunity of visiting the small town of La Porte, Indiana where Tammy lived at one time. Things were falling into place. Of course, that is not to imply that my roadtrips are in any way quickly improvised--I think I spend as much time planning them as I do driving them. Starting the trip in Chicago allowed us both to visit family and work our way through all of our favorite food groups (authentic Chinese, Indian, Middle-eastern, and deep-dish pizza ) before gorging ourselves on lots of tasty German food and Oktoberfest-themed adult beverages at my brother's new place. Finally, we were ready to start rolling some miles (and kilometers) onto our trip odometer and we picked up the rental car and got underway. We planned on making London, ON for our first night and since it turns out it is only a mere 6 or so hours driving from Chicago, we had a bit of time to drive through La Port. It had been nearly 40 years since Tammy lived there and (as expected) much of the area was barely recognizable and not much as she'd remembered it. There were a few landmarks still in place and it didn't take us long to find the house her parents owned in town. The main floor was the Chinese restaurant they owned and the second floor above is where they lived. It's always interesting indulging some nostalgia and visiting places from the past. After a bit of driving around town we picked up the highway and in time crossed the border into Canada at Port Huron. We got to bed late that night but we had one of the longer driving days behind us already. On the road again--and a stop at a childhood home in La Porte.
  17. Mollusk Molds

    From the album Calvert Cliffs

    Molds from the Choptank Formation. Member unknown. Virginia Miocene
  18. Please help identify

    Hi, I found these two odd items yesterday at Westmoreland State Park. Both were in the stream that feeds from the wetlands into the river. The "fang" type piece does appear to be hollow. The small black piece might just be a weird rock but kind of looks like a piece of scute (fingers crossed lol!). Thanks in advance for any help!
  19. Sorry, the images are apparently too large to upload, so here is an imgur link to the photos. They were found along the banks of the Potomac, in Virginia. I think it's mostly miocene stuff that washes up on that beach, but I'm not sure. The first is about 4 cm long and 2.5 cm wide; the second, 2.5 cm long and 1 cm wide. The last set of images is just a clam cast I found on a different beach in the same area - I was wondering if it was possible to identify the species of clam from the cast, but if not that's completely understandable, haha.
  20. What a trip! I finally had the opportunity to visit the renowned Westmoreland State Park in Montross, VA. I had heard mixed feelings about the site online, with some claiming it was far too over-picked and others dubbing it reliable and productive. I decided the best way to find out the truth was to go there myself! My dad and I hit the road early to get there before sunrise. It was about a 2 hour drive. We arrived and expected to have to pay a fee to get in, but it appeared that no one was being charged. I guess there is only a fee during the summer months. We hiked down the steep trail to Fossil Beach to discover that a few had beaten us to the first spot. They, however, had only come for a short visit and were heading out just as we arrived. It was low tide, but the water was still high up the beach. My dad and I spent the first hour or so walking along the river in the water, which I typically don't do. But I was finding some great teeth! The water was relatively calm and very clear so I could see everything in the sand with ease. My dad went further down the beach while I kept a steady pace and picked up anything I could spot. After about half an hour spent in the water, I looked down a little deeper and saw a large tooth sitting on top of the sand, facing towards me. My heart skipped a beat and my first thought was "Megalodon", but once I picked it up I realized it couldn't be so. It was a very large Mako, rather. It's about 2 inches in slant height, and in great condition. Undoubtedly the largest tooth I've found in my fossil hunting career. After finding something so incredible, it seemed that the rest of the day was underwhelming in comparison. But I did manage some other nice finds. More people showed up at the beach as the sun rose and the air began to warm up. When someone came to me and asked if I was having any luck, I was more than happy to show them the huge tooth I had found. Many thought it was amazing. I also had the opportunity to explain the world of fossil hunting to an elderly couple who showed up and had no idea what everyone was looking for. I had a nice conversation with them and answered their many questions, then gave them a few teeth and got back to work. This is not the first time someone has come to me asking what exactly I'm doing pacing up and down the beach. I absolutely love to inform them when they ask. I eventually made it all the way to the border of the beach where the cliffs pick back up, where I picked up a cliff fall and carried it to a safe distance from the cliffs. I used my rock hammer to pick away slowly at the fall, but came away with nothing. The tide was getting really high and the beach began to disappear. I had to cross the stream that separates the beaches before it got too high, otherwise I would have been stranded. My dad and I decided it would be best to call it a day at Westmoreland and go grab some lunch nearby, but we weren't done hunting yet. Right down the road from Westmoreland State Park is Stratford Hall Plantation, the birthplace and childhood home of General Robert E. Lee. I have been to this site before actually, for one of my first fossil hunting trips ever. I convinced my dad that it would be worth it to go give Stratford a shot once we finished our lunches. We made the short drive and paid the entry fee then drove down to the beach for a few last hours of hunting. We were finding teeth in larger quantities than at Westmoreland, but nothing too large. It is interesting to see the varying frequencies of finds between the two sites. For example, at Westmoreland I only found two ray plates, while at Stratford I found nearly 30 of them, some large, and in less time spent hunting. Instead of beach combing like we did at Westmoreland, we sifted at Stratford for the majority of the time. We wrapped up the trip with one last walk up and down the small beach, then waved goodbye to the Potomac. The grand total of shark teeth found between me and my dad was 167. The finds are not as abundant here as some other local sites like Brownie's or Purse, but in terms of quality it is high end. We found some decent sized hastalis and Makos, and a lot of the usual Tigers, Hemis, Lemons, and Requiems. I found one tooth that I believe is the crown of an Odontocete but I could also see how it could be a small crocodile tooth because of its visible vertical ridges and the fact that it is hollow. I will be posting identification topics on that tooth and many others from this trip, because we definitely found a few strange things. Overall, a great day on the Potomac, and my first time hitting two sites in one day. I walked away with my biggest tooth and handful of other great finds. Thanks for taking the time to read my report. Hoppe hunting!
  21. 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!
  22. Hello All! As you can see by the title of my post and the plethora of pictures to follow, I have been quite busy... busy fossil hunting that is! Since New Years I have been averaging at least one trip per weekend which is a good fix to distract myself from the less-than admirable weather (I just want spring!!!!!). This whole week is off for me since I'm off on Spring Break and that means I can go out hunting during the week to avoid the crowds which is always pleasant to get the beach to yourself. Also with the turn of the season and somewhat "warm" weather we have had I was able to launch my kayak for the first time this season this past weekend and I hope to make good use of my kayak. If any other members would like to hunt sometime feel free to message me (also anyone who wants to take me out on their boat I would take that offer too! ) I'll post a thread of my recent trips along with my more favorite finds and some fossil ID help. I'd also like to add that I have successfully taken over our family dining room and turned it into my own private fossil collection (sorry mom) and I love how it shows the true variety of teeth you can find as well as the differences in locations and the fauna you can find. The paper towels are all from recent trips and the plates are all from previous trips to Stratford Hall which I divided into plates for each different species.
  23. 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.
  24. Another Nice Day on the River

    After a couple of weeks of us being under the weather from an Upper Respiratory Infection, Mrs.SA2 and I decided to take the dogs and visit one of our favorite places this past Saturday. Despite the forecast for rain, we both had a great day. But, the true measure of a successful day was achieved when the totally exhausted dogs slept the entire way home. As some of you may remember, I'm still playing catch up with Mrs.SA2 as she found 5 megalodon teeth in January. Saturday, I got my 2nd of 2018, about 10 mins after we started hunting. It's a gorgeous little "hubbell" meg with nice serrations and coloring. That gives us 7 megs so far in 2018. In just the few hours we were there, I found teeth from 11 different species of sharks. Here are a few of my larger ones. Mrs.SA2 had her own bag of goodies. I'll post some photos of them when she gets them cleaned up. Along with teeth, we also found a couple of those dreaded Miocene snails called Ecphora. Even more interesting, we found 2 different species of Ecphora about 10 feet from each other. I'm sure @Fossil-Hound and @sixgill pete can appreciate just how dreaded these Ecphora can be. Mrs.SA2 found 3 of them, but mine was the largest and most complete and is the oddball with only 3 whorls. Adding these 4 to her collection, Mrs.SA2 now has 59 Ecphora specimens from MD, VA and NC. The goal is to get around 100 specimens and then donate the collection for study and curation. All in all, it was a great day and Mrs.SA2 was happy. Happy wife, happy life!!!! Cheers, SA2 and Mrs.SA2
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