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Brady Williams

Fossil teeth hunting in Summerville, SC.

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Brady Williams

Hey everyone. I have recently gotten my family into the study of paleontology, but so far, we've only bought fossils online. i.e fossilera. For spring break planning on going Sharks teeth hunting in Summerville South Carolina and are looking for good spots to find sharks teeth and other things. Does anyone here have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Edited by Brady Williams

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turtlesteve

The whole length of the creek south of Summerville has a paved walking trail alongside it, and there are a lot of parking / access points (look on google maps and the satellite view).  Anywhere in this creek, you can find shark teeth by finding gravel beds and screening them.  This is a good "family fun" trip.    There are isolated honey holes but don't expect folks to volunteer this kind of information.

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Brady Williams
1 hour ago, turtlesteve said:

The whole length of the creek south of Summerville has a paved walking trail alongside it, and there are a lot of parking / access points (look on google maps and the satellite view).  Anywhere in this creek, you can find shark teeth by finding gravel beds and screening them.  This is a good "family fun" trip.    There are isolated honey holes but don't expect folks to volunteer this kind of information.

Thanks, turtlesteve. What is the creek's name? Thanks.

P.S, Are the alligators friendly? :laugh2:

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FossilDAWG

You should check the local laws regarding collecting in Summerville.  Digging, and the use of shovels, is illegal within city limits.  I don't know if using screens is also banned.  Unfortunately overzealous collectors ruined things for everyone else by tearing up creek banks and beds and leaving a mess that attracted attention of the local government.

 

Don 

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Scylla
12 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

You should check the local laws regarding collecting in Summerville.  Digging, and the use of shovels, is illegal within city limits.  I don't know if using screens is also banned.  Unfortunately overzealous collectors ruined things for everyone else by tearing up creek banks and beds and leaving a mess that attracted attention of the local government.

 

Don 

I heard a story from a local that one guy dug so much out of a bank that a bulldozer fell in the hole and angered the town officials. I think screens are not allowed, but eyeballs still are and that's all you need to find some fossils. There are local guides that will take you for a fee as well. This was the last time I was there in August 20175e2bc11197b93_Message_15034331634412.thumb.jpg.44b1114b29ed2bb3b1d03c083dcf1206.jpg

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Boesse

Be extremely careful about who you go with. Feel free to check in with us at CCNHM if you should or should not go with a local guide - there are several who take people and do illegal digging (screening in waterways where it is prohibited), and others who take clients trespassing. Other guides have seeded streams with teeth from other locations the day before taking clients there. Someone is bound to get into serious trouble sooner or later, or get shot for trespassing. This is South Carolina, I can't believe anyone would trespass down here. I was unknowingly trespassing to go check out an abandoned mine shaft when I was an undergraduate in Montana (listed in an outdated field guide) and when we emerged from the mine were greeted by a miner pointing a 12 gauge at us. He was very relieved when he found out we were just geology students.

 

It you want to make sure you're completely above board, skip a guide, pick a random creek in Summerville, and walk it yourself. So long as you're not digging with tools and sticking to creeks, you're OK.

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Mark Kmiecik

Walking the creeks and surface hunting will probably be more productive than digging and screening. You have to know where to dig and screen find anything. The way to find out is to walk the creek and keep track of where the fossils are deposited by the flow. Once you notice a pattern to where you find them you can confidently dig and screen those spots expecting to find something. Also, as far etiquette goes, don't do the things that would tick you off if you owned the property through which the creek flows.

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turtlesteve
On 1/24/2020 at 10:11 PM, Brady Williams said:

Thanks, turtlesteve. What is the creek's name? Thanks.

P.S, Are the alligators friendly? :laugh2:

Sawmill branch and it's the sawmill branch trail that runs along it.

 

As others have mentioned there is an ordinance that prohibits digging.  I am curious to see documentation on what is specifically allowed and not with regards to screening.  I'd heard from multiple sources that it was OK to screen already loose material in the creek as long as you were not digging and had no digging tools, but I can't vouch for anything officially.  A lot of folks look by eye only, but miss the very numerous small teeth.  But collecting visually covers more ground and better odds of finding larger teeth - but, my kids don't have the stamina, and it's more fun for them to stay in one spot and you are guaranteed to find lots of small teeth just about anywhere.  The creek is too small and shallow for alligators, the main hazard is broken glass everywhere.  I would be on high alert for water moccasins in the summer, although I have yet to see one there.

 

Steve

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