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Max-fossils

Hi everyone, 

 

Last month, as I stayed a weekend at my grandparent's house, we decided to go to the Banjaard beach for some fossil hunting. I had asked Bram Langeveld (Natuurhistorisch Rotterdam) and Ronald Pouwer (Naturalis) which one of the "Zeeuwse stranden" (beaches of Zeeland, a province in the south-west Netherlands) was currently the best to hunt at. Both said that they were hearing some good stuff about the Banjaard beach recently, which has mainly Pleistocene fossils (including Eemian shells). Seeing that I can also find Eemian shells and other Pleistocene stuff at the Zandmotor, my usual hunting spot, I was a little reluctant at first, but still ended up going there. Good thing I did, because it was a rather successful hunt! :) 

 

The weather was really nice, bright blue skies and fresh (but not cold) temperatures.

 

 

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Max-fossils

Me hunting on the beach, with my trusted little orange backpack

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Max-fossils

Again, me hunting. It's a pretty vast beach. In the background, you can see the Oosterscheldekering (translates to "Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier"), a very big dam in the Netherlands.

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Max-fossils

The best place to search for fossils are the shell banks (with big shells), which are more to the back of the beach, further away from the shoreline. Here an in-situ picture of a fish vertebra amongst many cockles (a good number are fossil too) and other shells. 

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Smaller fossils (small fossil shells, especially gastropods, but also small mammal stuff) are best found in the shell banks with smaller shell pieces.

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Max-fossils

And here our take of the day!

Lots of fossil shells! Species include:  Spisula solida, S. elliptica, S. subtruncata, Cerastoderma edule (forma major), Macoma balthica, Ostrea edulis, Donax vittatus, Tridonta borealis, Mactra stultorum plistoneerlandica, Mytilus sp, Mya sp (?), Arctica islandica (?), Corbicula cf fluminalis, Pecten sp, Venericor planicosta, Nassarius reticulatus, N. nitidus, N. pygmaeus, Turritella incrassata, Ocenebra erinaceus, Nucella incrassata, Euroscaphella lamberti(Bivalves in blue, gastropods in red)

And also some vertebrate stuff: a piece of bone (cranium?), a small worn out tooth, two fish vertebrae, and a cleithrum of a codfish :D 

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Max-fossils

Some of the best finds:

A really nice Corbicula cf fluminalis

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Max-fossils

A stunning Nassarius pygmaeus

 

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Max-fossils

A big and well-preserved incomplete Venericor planicosta. Eocene in age, not Pleistocene.

These are pretty much the "top prizes" of the Zeeuwse beaches, so I was ecstatic finding this one!

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KimTexan

Nice report. Looks like a nice and relaxing place to hunt.

I’ll keep watching. I’m sure you’re not finished yet.

Cool dam. I can’t imagine what life would have been like for people prior to it being built.

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Max-fossils

And finally the codfish cleithrum. I'm not sure if it's from a codfish, but I think it is. It's definitely from some kind of fish.

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Max-fossils

And that sums up this report. A pretty nice hun for a first time on this beach! I'll definitely be going back. :) 

Hope you enjoyed the report!

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Max

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Max-fossils
1 minute ago, KimTexan said:

Nice report. Looks like a nice and relaxing place to hunt.

I’ll keep watching. I’m sure you’re not finished yet.

Cool dam. I can’t imagine what life would have been like for people prior to it being built.

Thanks! It definitely is a relaxing place to hunt at. 

That dam is really useful indeed. As you might know, most of the territory of the Netherlands is under sea level, so without those dams, the Netherlands wouldn't exist. 

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DPS Ammonite
22 minutes ago, Max-fossils said:

Some of the best finds:

A really nice Corbicula cf fluminalis

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Corbicula cf fluminalis is an introduced freshwater species. Are freshwater mollusks mixed in with the saltwater species? 

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Max-fossils
17 minutes ago, DPS Ammonite said:

Corbicula cf fluminalis is an introduced freshwater species. Are freshwater mullusks mixed in with the salt water species? 

The "case of the corbicula's" as we call it is a really interesting and weird one. The species is often found in beaches that have Eemian shells (eg the Banjaard beach, but also the Zandmotor and other beaches), but it has never (yet) been found in Eemian sediments (during excavations). Which makes sense: as you said it's a freshwater species, so it has no reason to hang out in marine sediments. So scientists estimate their age to around 400'000 years old (but this is without any certainty). But other freshwater species are much less common (they are found from time to time, but very rarely). So the scientists aren't really sure how these Corbicula's got there nor how old they really are. 

 

They are also not sure about the species. Note the use of "Corbicula cf fluminalis". By this it means that the shell looks like a C. fluminalis (which is indeed the Asian native species, introduced in European waterways in the 80's) but it's not sure if it really is one. The fossil ones are generally higher than the fresh ones, but that's about it. So scientists don't know what to call the Dutch fossil species, whether it is a new species or the same as the Asian one. They also don't know if therefore the shell has been introduced or re-introduced to Europe in the 80's. 

 

So there are still lots of questions still hanging around the Corbicula's. Some studies suggest that the Dutch Corbicula is a species (or type) that tolerated much higher water salinities, explaining their occurrence in marine beach locations, but it is only a theory. 

 

To specifically answer your question, I believe that they are, but freshwater species other than the Corbicula are significantly rarer. 

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Foozil

Very nice finds!! :wub:

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Darktooth

Nice report Max! I really like that Nassarius. Glad you had a good hunt!

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JohnBrian

Great haul!

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Monica

Viola would be in heaven searching such a beach - what a great number of beautiful shells!!! :faint::)

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DanKurek

Nice finds Max! Very interesting to see what kind of shells you find in the Netherlands 

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Max-fossils
13 hours ago, Foozil said:

Very nice finds!! :wub:

Thank you!

 

13 hours ago, Darktooth said:

Nice report Max! I really like that Nassarius. Glad you had a good hunt!

Thanks Dave! I love that tiny Nassarius too. 

 

38 minutes ago, DanKurek said:

Nice finds Max! Very interesting to see what kind of shells you find in the Netherlands 

Thanks, Daniel!

It is a different fauna than in Australia, isn't it?

It's one of the things I love about seashells: they vary so much depending on the location!

 

1 hour ago, Monica said:

Viola would be in heaven searching such a beach - what a great number of beautiful shells!!! :faint::)

Thank you Monica! This already feels like heaven to me, so I can surely understand her feeling! :D 

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belemniten

Some great finds Max :ighappy: Thanks for sharing!

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Max-fossils
On 10/24/2018 at 4:02 PM, belemniten said:

Some great finds Max :ighappy: Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Sebastian! :D 

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