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Bess

Fossil Locations Hamilton

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Bess

Hello, are there any fossil hunting locations in Hamilton, NJ? It doesn't matter what time period, only the fact that it has fossils. I don't mind what condition they're in too. Thanks in advance.:meg:

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jpenn

I've yet to find anything picking around in Hamilton. When I was a kid I remember digging deep enough to find gray clays at summer camp in Yardville, but not knowing a thing about geology at the time I did not know that these were potentially fossiliferous Cretaceous clays.

 

If fossils are to be found in Hamilton Township I would think it most likely in the south of the township in the Crosswicks Creek watershed. Bluffs at Roebling Park (locals like me call it 'White City Lake' show a nice cross-section of sandy sediments but I've never seen anything fossil there.  There is a closed, not-open-to-public State Museum research site (Cretaceous microfossils) near the Crosswicks in Ellisdale which isn't far from the southeastern corner of Hamilton Township.

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Plax

google this

Hamilton Township New Jersey, fossils

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Fossildude19

Check this website

The information is very old, and may no longer be accurate. It is a decent place to start your research from, though. 

 

It looks like Mercer county contains exposures of the Stockton Formation, which is late Triassic in age. 

 

Fish fossils, and dinosaur footprints have been found there.  Most notably back in the 1940's, coelacanth (Diplurus newarki - formerly Osteoplurus newarki ) and other fish fossils were found during the excavation of a basement at Princeton University.  See attached:

 

Princeton.jpg

 

 

Dinosaur footprints have been found along the western edge of Carnegie Lake, near Princeton, as well. 

 

If I lived in the area, I would try to locate stream or creek exposures in the area,  to see if the fossiliferous black shales outcrop anywhere in that vicinity. 

I'd also visit the Princeton library, to see the fossil exhibit they supposedly have there.  ;) 

Good luck. :) 
Regards,

 

 

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jpenn
On 11/1/2017 at 9:47 AM, Fossildude19 said:

Check this website

The information is very old, and may no longer be accurate. It is a decent place to start your research from, though. 

 

It looks like Mercer county contains exposures of the Stockton Formation, which is late Triassic in age. 

 

Fish fossils, and dinosaur footprints have been found there.  Most notably back in the 1940's, coelacanth (Diplurus newarki - formerly Osteoplurus newarki ) and other fish fossils were found during the excavation of a basement at Princeton University.  See attached:

 

Princeton.jpg

 

 

Dinosaur footprints have been found along the western edge of Carnegie Lake, near Princeton, as well. 

 

If I lived in the area, I would try to locate stream or creek exposures in the area,  to see if the fossiliferous black shales outcrop anywhere in that vicinity. 

I'd also visit the Princeton library, to see the fossil exhibit they supposedly have there.  ;) 

Good luck. :) 
Regards,

 

 

The Triassic material is the northern part of Mercer County; not Hamilton. But yes, quite close and I've picked around black shale in Princeton/Lawrence/Hopewell as well. No luck, but hey it takes more time and effort and the right situation (such as excavation of a library) to have a good chance at finding things. I've seen some of the fish found on display at the Princeton library itself, which made quite an impression on me as a child.

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Fossildude19
7 minutes ago, jpenn said:

The Triassic material is the northern part of Mercer County; not Hamilton. But yes, quite close and I've picked around black shale in Princeton/Lawrence/Hopewell as well. No luck, but hey it takes more time and effort and the right situation (such as excavation of a library) to have a good chance at finding things. I've seen some of the fish found on display at the Princeton library itself, which made quite an impression on me as a child.

You are very lucky to have such possible fossil sites so close.  Sometimes people have to travel for hours to get to sites. -

Looks like there is nothing reported from Hamilton, directly, so you will have to search outside of your town.

 

Major excavations are admittedly hard to come by, however, sometimes, it takes time to find a productive horizon of shale.  ;) 

6 inches one way or another can make all the difference. 

 

If it were my area, I would focus on pinning down the correct layers. The Newark Supergroup is notorious for having lots of barren shale that should be likely to have fossils.

It just takes finding the correct layer. 6 inches or 6 feet can make the difference sometimes. 

Good luck. 

Regards,

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jpenn
4 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

You are very lucky to have such possible fossil sites so close.  Sometimes people have to travel for hours to get to sites. -

Looks like there is nothing reported from Hamilton, directly, so you will have to search outside of your town.

 

Major excavations are admittedly hard to come by, however, sometimes, it takes time to find a productive horizon of shale.  ;) 

6 inches one way or another can make all the difference. 

 

If it were my area, I would focus on pinning down the correct layers. The Newark Supergroup is notorious for having lots of barren shale that should be likely to have fossils.

It just takes finding the correct layer. 6 inches or 6 feet can make the difference sometimes. 

Good luck. 

Regards,

There isn't a lot of searchable public ground in New Jersey though and I'm sure you know that. Most of the rock picking I've been able to do in northern Mercer County has been on landscaping jobs. Still, I know the Newark shales are fossilferous and I look them over whenever I get the chance. Years ago I even found tracks in a slab from a stone wall used in a factory in Trenton.

 

In any event, I wish the best of luck to the thread creator in Hamilton, either close to home or at any of the great sites to be found even within an hour or two of travel.

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Bess

Thanks a lot for your replies.:)

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jpevahouse

I live near Hamilton. No fossils found in the area I know of. The Princeton area has yielded fossil fish and dinosaur footprints but they are very scarce.

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Plax

Hamilton area should have fossils. Cretaceous formations are mapped going right through the area. I would check new construction, water retention basins, steeply banked streams in parks and other public areas. Most collectors only go where they have been shown of course and there's nothing wrong with that. Look at the state geo map available on line and then check high gradient streams that flow through the Merchantville and Woodbury Fms for instance. Experience is a great teacher but exploration is most rewarding.

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