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Max-fossils

Hi all,

 

So on Tuesday afternoon, I was lucky enough to only have a half day of school. Seeing that the weather was nice, and that I had nothing else to do except go home, I decided to take the bus in the other direction, so to Kijkduin, in order to do some fossil hunting! I bought a sandwich and a chocolate bar at the Shell gas station, and set out on the beach. From the beach of Kijkduin I walked south, so towards the Zandmotor, while of course looking for fossils. 

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View of the beach (mind that the sea is on the right side, on the left side it's just a small lagoon), with the haven of Rotterdam in the background. 

 

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View of the beach with Kijkduin, and then Scheveningen, in the background. (Sorry for the blurriness...)

 

 

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Max-fossils

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A bunch of small birds on the shoreline

 

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A small crow keeping me company in my hunting

 

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The waves crashing on the beach

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Max-fossils

I was hunting for about half an hour when I pulled out one of these beauties from the sand: a gorgeous Politiapes decussatus! Later I found two more of them! Some time ago I made this topic: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/82667-bivalve-from-the-zandmotor/, where I had found a portion of this species, and was really wishing to find a complete one. Seems like the fossil gods made this wish come true! :ighappy:

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I also found lots of the common stuff (so the common bivalve species (Mactra plistoneerlandica, Cerastoderma edule, Cerastoderma glaucum, Ostrea edulis, etc) and bone pieces) but most of it I put back in order not to overload my plastic bag (well, that still always happens anyways, and I think you guys can relate :P ). 

 

I also found a few of this species, Venerupis senescens, which was pretty cool. Before this hunt, I had 11 of them in my collection. They have the approximate rarity of a complete tiger shark tooth or a complete hemi tooth in the Peace River, to give you an idea (so not exactly common, but not rare either. Kinda "uncommon"). But at some point I just started finding them one after the other, literally everywhere, they didn't stop coming! In just this hunt I found 27 of them!!! Approx 2.5 times as many as I had found in my previous hunts combined! If this isn't the definition of dumb luck...

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LiamL

Going to the beach is alot better than going home! Wish i lived a shot bus ride away!

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Max-fossils

I also got kinda lucky finding these three perfect Scrobicularia plana 's. Don't find those too often.

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Also found these two Tridonta borealis including my best-preserved one to date and my biggest to date. (Also seems like a pesky sponge got hungry on the big one.)

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Max-fossils

Also found these two nice Acanthocardia tuberculata heart cockles, normally pretty common but for some reason I seemed to have been on a small dry spell for this species. Good thing that spell is broken now :) 

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Same goes for this one, the Mimachlamys varia, hadn't found any in a while. Unfortunately, the right one broke a bit in the bag when bringing it back home :( 

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Max-fossils

I also found this slightly broken egg cockle, Laevicardium crassum. 

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I also managed to find my very first Mactra glauca! It says in this folder by the WTKG (LINK) that for some reason this species is always found broken ("altijd beschadigd" = always damaged). I have no clue why a specific species would only be found broken, but oh well. In fact, it must mean that my shell is pretty awesome then, because if it wasn't for that crack running down the middle it would've been perfect! :D 

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Max-fossils

Also found this little thing. I am thinking that it is from the extinct Mytilus antiquoruum? Not sure. It definitely looks different from the normal mussel Mytilus edulis

 

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Max-fossils

I also found this awesome shell. My first bittersweet clam, Glycymeris sp, from the Zandmotor! A Zandmotor-friend of mine, who hunts there very regularly, never found any here. Though very common in Pliocene sediments, they seem to be much much rarer in Eemian sediments! According to him, a rare find for the Zandmotor. Definitely very happy with this one, even if it is a little damaged and very worn :ighappy:

 

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Max-fossils

And finally, the top find of the day came when I was walking along the shoreline. It is a big complete lamella of a mammoth tooth! Granted, the complete tooth would've been much better, but I am happy to settle for one lamella for now. The preservation on this piece is fantastic. I am so glad with it! :mammoth:

 

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Max-fossils

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Max-fossils

Shortly after finding the lamella, I met a very friendly fossil hunter on the beach. We introduced ourselves, and hunted for about 5 minutes together. He found a small part of a (probably) woolly rhino molar, which he gifted to me in an act of great friendliness. ^_^

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Max-fossils

Oh, just for the more scientific info: 

 

The bivalves are from the Eem Formation, in the Eemian of the Pleistocene (around 120'000 years old).

(Note: if the Mytilus antiquoruum does prove to be one, it might actually be Pliocene then.)

 

The mammal stuff is from the Late Pleistocene, so about 40'000 years old. 

 

For more info on the Zandmotor, or pictures of some of my previous finds, check this out:

 

 

Edited by Max-fossils

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Max-fossils

So, after 4 hours of extensive hunting, a bag full of awesome goodies, and also having been blessed with the acquaintance of a new fossil hunter, it was time for me to go back home. 

 

It was definitely a successful hunt in my opinion. I found lots of new stuff to complement my collection. Also, for once the weather was nice to me! The previous time I went, it was so cold that my fingers fell numb after about an hour, even though I had warm gloves on. Yet in this hunt, the sun sometimes pierced through the clouds, there was only a very small breeze, and the air wasn't heavy with humidity. Also, the temperature was at about 12 degrees C (about 54 degrees F), which is an enjoyable temperature to hunt at. 

 

Well, hopefully you enjoyed reading my trip report! If you have any questions, or would like more photos of the fossils, feel free to ask. 

Thanks for taking a look! I hope that your next hunt will be just as successful and enjoyable! 

 

Happy hunting!

 

Max

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Manticocerasman

Nice report Max,

 

I love the mammoth tooth lammel. great find :)

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Max-fossils
1 minute ago, Manticocerasman said:

Nice report Max,

 

I love the mammoth tooth lammel. great find :)

Thank you Kevin! ^_^

 

39 minutes ago, LiamL said:

Going to the beach is alot better than going home! Wish i lived a short bus ride away!

Agreed! I guess I am lucky to have a location close to my home too :) 

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DPS Ammonite

Nice finds Max. I think the bird was looking for a handout: some of that good Dutch chocolate. 

 

Give our our members a description of what the Sand Motor (Zandmotor) is. I think that it is some sort of dredging operation that dug up Pleistocene sediments to make a beach. Are any of your old shells also still living in the area (extant)? How do you know if the shells are old or new if they are still around? 

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Nimravis

Max great trip report and love the pics and the portion of the mammoth tooth is really sweet. Congrats and thanks for posting.

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Kane

Well done, Max! :dinothumb: It seems you always clean up at the Zandmotor!

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Tidgy's Dad

Excellent photos and a nice report! :)

Beautiful fossils, too. :wub:

Not bad for a free afternoon. 

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Max-fossils
40 minutes ago, DPS Ammonite said:

Nice finds Max. I think the bird was looking for a handout: some of that good Dutch chocolate. 

 

Give our our members a description of what the Sand Motor (Zandmotor) is. I think that it is some sort of dredging operation that dug up Pleistocene sediments to make a beach. Are any of your old shells also still living in the area (extant)? How do you know if the shells are old or new if they are still around? 

Thanks! 

 

I briefly explained what the Zandmotor was in my Album, of which I posted a link above. But I am also currently working on an Instagram post which will talk about the purpose/function of the Zandmotor in detail for my @world_of_fossils account, of which I will post a link here when it is done (with the link, I think you will be able to view the post in full even if you don't have an Instagram account). 

 

As to whether a shell is fossil or modern, it can indeed sometimes be a tricky business. But for the Zandmotor (and the Maasvlakte 2 and the Hoek van Holland, two similar locations closeby), there are some guidelines that you can use in order to see whether it's a fossil or not.

  1. If the species is extinct (or locally extinct), then you can obviously be sure that you have a fossil.
  2. Eemian (and older) shells have different colors. They are light grey or white in color (sometimes with small faded grey/cyan stripes), and are dull. So a colorful or a shiny shell will likely not be fossilized. 
  3. With a modern shell, it will often be the case (I especially do this with a blemished shell which is white, when I am unsure) that when you wet the specimen the colors spring out, and sometimes also slightly change. While the fossil shells will very likely stay the same color when wet
  4. A fossil shell will really feel like stone. I don't know how to properly describe this by text, but I can say that fossil shells usually have a different texture than modern ones. 
  5. This is the most used tip, but I am personally not a fan of it: if when you shine a light through it, the light doesn't go through, it's fossil; if the light does go through it isn't a fossil. Though the main idea for this tip is brilliant, the reason I don't like this one too much is because this can change also with the species (the Scrobicularia for example, because they are very thin, still let light through even when they are fossil; meanwhile the oysters, even modern, will never let any light through). Also, if the fossil shell is slightly damaged (making it a bit thinner) at one area, it will likely let a bit of light through. 

But of course, especially with the oysters, there can still be confusion. So it can be a real problem often. Luckily, the concentration of fossil shells on the Zandmotor is very high, I would say that approx 40% of all the shells are fossils! So there is a big chance that your shell is fossil. 

Also, when you are a seasoned hunter of the location, you can often tell by a quick glance whether it's a fossil or not. So I may be able to recognize them kinda easily, but for a new hunter it can be a real big challenge. 

 

So yeah, it's no black and white, but hopefully this kinda clears it up for you. :) 

 

PS: Belgian chocolate is much better!!! :P 

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Darktooth

Nice report and pics Max! I am really glad that you had a great day!

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MeargleSchmeargl

Sweet Bivalves, bro! The mammoth material is also quite awesome! :mammoth:

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Max-fossils
32 minutes ago, Nimravis said:

Max great trip report and love the pics and the portion of the mammoth tooth is really sweet. Congrats and thanks for posting.

Thank you Ralph! :ighappy:

 

27 minutes ago, Kane said:

Well done, Max! :dinothumb: It seems you always clean up at the Zandmotor!

Thanks Kane! 

Not sure what you mean by 'clean up' in this case: 'clean up', as in clean up the fossils, or as in take away the litter?

(Imagery can be tricky to spot in text, sorry...)

If it's picking up fossils, then I don't really, because there is way too much to pick up, and after just 5 minutes I would be carrying 2 kilos! Some of the shell species are just so incredibly common. 

If it's picking up litter, I do it sometimes too, when I find stuff, but luckily there isn't much litter on this beach, and it's relatively clean, so I don't have much work on that side :) 

 

23 minutes ago, Darktooth said:

Nice report and pics Max! I am really glad that you had a great day!

Thanks a lot Dave :D 

 

5 minutes ago, MeargleSchmeargl said:

Sweet Bivalves, bro! The mammoth material is also quite awesome! :mammoth:

Thanks! :fistbump:

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DPS Ammonite

Thanks Max for describing the differences between modern and fossil shells.

 

Is it the dredging of the sand to create the beach that brought the fossils to the surface     

or do all nearby beaches also have a mixture of fossils and modern shells. Are the fossils washed in from offshore from older geological units as occurs in Florida? I'm trying to get a sense of where the fossils are comming from.

 

John

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