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Max-fossils

Hi all,

 

Last weekend, there was an excursion organized by the Paleobiologische Kring (a fossil club here in the Netherlands) on the Zandmotor. As you know I had already been quite a lot of times on the Zandmotor, because it is my usual spot. But seeing that a few of my contacts, namely a fossil friend I had met at a fair, Thijs, as well as the curator of the natural history museum in Rotterdam Bram Langeveld (that I know pretty well), were going to the trip, I decided to join in just for the fun of hunting with others. Turns out that was a really smart decision, because their company brought me a lot of luck! :D 

 

The day started off with a small lecture by Bram about the Zandmotor and the finds that can be made there. For most people it was their first time on the Zandmotor, so the lecture was pretty useful for them. Then after that, we went onto the beach to start finding some fossils ourselves. We went from the south side of the beach (Monster), whereas I usually always come from the north side (Kijkduin) as it is closer to my house. 

 

The weather was absolutely ideal for fossil hunting. Not cold, but not very warm either. Very little wind, blue sky, few clouds, perfect. B) 

During the trip, nearly everyone was looking for mammal (mammoth and other megafaunal Ice Age species) bones. I was, along with two or three others, the only one also looking for shells. 

 

As soon as I got onto the beach, I already found a nice partial Mactra glauca, a pretty rare species. A good start already!

It didn't take long before some people found mammoth bone fragments.

 

During the hunt, I talked quite a lot to other hunters, especially to Bram and the other shell hunter. Very interesting discussions, I learned a lot of new little details about shell identification. 

Meanwhile, I was finding some of the most incredible fossil shells! Species that would normally be a trip-maker I found several of, and some beyond-rare species also flashed under my eyes. It was unbelievable how much I was finding!

 

At the end of the hunt, because we went back to the starting point (south side), after having said bye to the others, I had to walk all the way to the north side, so I spent some more time looking, and that revealed even more finds. I couldn't believe how much I was finding!

 

The sun was setting at the time I just left the beach, and that's also when the clouds started to thicken:

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While walking along the bike path towards the parking where my dad was waiting to pick me up, I made one last very surprising and definitely fun find: a great mammal vertebra! Just laying there on the side of the bike path in plain view. It was pretty sun-bleached, so it must have sat there for quite some time. I was surprised that no one had noticed it before me, but didn't complain either. I suppose another hunter had found it and accidentally left it there? Regardless, it was a fantastic way to finish up this incredible hunt. 

 

Apart from the sunset pic above, I didn't take any location (or in-situ) pics during the hunt. If you want to see some more pictures (and finds) from this location you can search the forum for "Zandmotor"; this should bring up some results of the trip reports I've previously made of some of my hunts (I only make trip reports of my most successful/interesting ZM hunts). 


 

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Max-fossils

Anyways, here is the best part, my haul!

 

I, of course, found much of the usual stuff (shells like Spisula solida, Cerastoderma edule, C. glaucum, Ostrea edulis, Macoma balthica, Acanthocardia tuberculata, Venerupis senescens, etc are very common, and I only take the best specimens of those species; and small bone pieces (most of which I didn't keep) and a fish vertebra). 

 

*** All shells shown here are, like most fossil shells from the ZM, from the Eem Formation. Eemian in age, Pleistocene (115'000 - 130'000 years). The vertebra, like most mammal material, is late Pleistocene (around 50'000 years old). ***

 

Here are the more interesting, and rarer finds:

 

1) A small but nice Venerupis decussata

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Max-fossils

2) A very big and well-preserved Corbicula cf fluminalis 

(Corbicula is a freshwater genus. Therefore it is not from the Eem Formation, which represents marine sediments. Scientists are still unsure of its age, but estimates say it's around 400'000 years old)

What's weird about this one is that it is much higher than it is broader (tear-shaped) which is usually a characteristic common to specimens from Zeeland, yet pretty rare in specimens from Holland. (FYI: Zeeland and Holland are regions in the Netherlands; the Zandmotor is in Holland). 

 

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3) An incomplete piece of the super-rare Lutraria magna

I was ecstatic when finding this one :D 

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4) A complete (!) specimen of the very rare Gastrana fragilis 

This would make anyone's trip a huge success!

 

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5) Three, yes three, specimens of Dosinia lupinus 

Also a rare, and sought-after species! 

The top one unfortunately broke as I picked it up, but at least it's complete too.

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6) And again, three, I repeat, three!!!, specimens of Dosinia exoleta

A very rare species! Finding one during a trip is already amazing, but finding three is almost unthinkable of. That bottom one is perfect: big, great preservation, and nice hues of blue on it. I may have shrieked a little when finding it :P 

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Max-fossils

7) I also found this complete and near-perfect Ocenebra erinaceus

Gastropods, in general, are uncommon in Eemian sediments, and finding complete specimens is always nice. 

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8) And finally the mammal vertebra I found on the side of the bike path. It's definitely fossil (flame-test approved ;)). Does anyone have a clue what it might be from? I'm thinking deer for now, though I'm really not sure. 

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Max-fossils

So, definitely an incredible day! Many new rare species that I didn't have yet in my collection, all individually potential trip-makers. 

I think I got really lucky in the number of rare shells I found, that definitely doesn't happen regularly! 

Evidently, I came home with a big grin on my face after the successful hunt :ighappy:

 

So, that sums up my report for this out-of-the-ordinary trip!

Thanks for reading it, I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Max

 

 

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Bobby Rico

Great report Max . Lovely the finds and Ocenebra erinaceus is beautiful. :wub: thanks mate for sharing.

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Max-fossils
1 minute ago, Bobby Rico said:

Great report Max . Lovely the finds and Ocenebra erinaceus is beautiful. :wub: thanks mate for sharing.

Glad you liked it Bobby :D 

Gastropods always look great, don't they?

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ricardo

Max,

Congratulations! Nice new "members" for your collection :)

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Thecosmilia Trichitoma

 Nice job! I love the two triplets! (of shells)

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Darktooth

Congratulations on a nice hunt Max! I like that gastropod!

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caldigger

This one looks like it was getting ready to have that crack sewn up with stitches.

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Max-fossils
11 hours ago, ricardo said:

Max,

Congratulations! Nice new "members" for your collection :)

 

9 hours ago, Darktooth said:

Congratulations on a nice hunt Max! I like that gastropod!

 

11 hours ago, Thecosmilia Trichitoma said:

 Nice job! I love the two triplets! (of shells)

Thanks guys! ^_^ 

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Monica

Congratulations on a great hunt, Max! :dinothumb:

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Max-fossils
1 minute ago, Monica said:

Congratulations on a great hunt, Max! :dinothumb:

Thanks Monica!

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JarrodB

Nice finds Max.

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Max-fossils
Just now, JarrodB said:

Nice finds Max.

Thank you! ^_^ 

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Nimravis

Max, great informative trip report and some very nice finds- congrats.

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Max-fossils
Just now, Nimravis said:

Max, great informative trip report and some very nice finds- congrats.

Thank you Ralph! 

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DanKurek

Nice finds Max!

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