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  1. Hello, I have a few gastropods/snails I found on my trip to Maryland, at the Matoaka Beach Cabins. They are Miocene in age, but I can’t really find anything online for species and genus names. I want to put together a display for an event tomorrow. Could anyone help me ID them please? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. Hi everyone! I’m a novice shark tooth enthusiast who lives in western Pa. I’m taking a day trip to the Calvert Cliffs area this coming Sunday for the first time to search for shark teeth. Based on my cursory research aka google, I was thinking to try Matoaka cabins, but I wanted to see what the member of this forum think would be the best place to go to given my non-resident status. Any tips on the area would be GREATLY appreciated!!
  3. Snaggletooth19

    February Matoaka Finds ID Help

    Took a trip to Matoaka Beach (Miocene, Choptank Formation) yesterday. I found a couple medium sized Hemis and one gentleman from the Baltimore area found a really nice one that he allowed me to get a photo of that I thought I'd share for everyone. I don't need any ID help on that, but it's certainly drool-worthy. But other than shark teeth, I found a couple of other items that I'd like some help confirming ID for. 1. I assume this is a bony fish vertebra. It has an interesting shape. Is there any way to ID genus or species for this time period? 2. This piece resembles an inner ear bone and has some markings that resemble the vascularity of bone. 3. This is an odd piece and has a tooth-like shape with definitely some residual enamel on it. 4. Could this be a ray barb? It also resembles a bony fish tooth I've found in other formations. 5. I assume this is an odontocete tooth, but it is rather small. Any way to narrow down genus or species? Thanks to anyone willing to help out!
  4. Went out to Matoaka on June 30th for a couple of hours. A bit hot, but great weather and the water felt great. No jellyfish in the water yet, so I didn't need my waders at all! I was down between perhaps the last two jetties and spotted this beauty partially stuck down in the sand. I wasn't the first one at the beach, hard to believe some other folks missed it. Just goes to show that any time of year can be a good time for fossil hunting! While it's not a meg, I have honestly been hoping to find a full size C. hastalis tooth like this, so I'm pretty happy. I found a couple of smaller tiger shark teeth as well. Happy hunting out there!
  5. Hey guys! As a new fossil hunter, I am terrible at keeping up with my trip reports, so instead of struggling to remember the little details, here's a compiled post on how the past three months went. I don't have professional photos of every find, but hopefully what I do have will scratch the itch for anyone interested in my escapades. Oh - I'll be in NJ this Saturday for another hunt with DVPS - any tips for shallow creek hunting would be appreciated! ~ January My first ever attempt at winter hunting. Armed with tips from you generous folks, I went solo! Due to high winds, low temps, and icy shores, my scant finds were all broken or small. Even so, I learned a lot and went home with tiny, worn ecphora. This trip was originally scheduled to be a CHAPTours trip, but Paul wisely cancelled due to the weather. I, however, had gotten myself a hotel room in the area and couldn't get a refund. Therefore, I made the...interesting choice to try hunting in 20-degree weather with 10-15mph winds. I posted in the forum to get some tips on winter hunting, adapted my plans accordingly, and when the date came, headed out. The signs pointed to "go the hell home, Samantha" rather early. When I arrived at Matoaka, the owners were out and I didn't have change with me for my ATM-obtained $20. I hope they used the extra $10 to feed that new pup of theirs! After I came to terms with this, I went down the cliff and started my hunt. Well, attempted to, anyway! The ice made hunting very, very difficult. The waves reminded me of a melting slushie (video!), building up more ice with every wash. I discovered quickly that walking on the ice was a no-go unless I wanted a busted ankle from falling through into the shallow water. Pulling clayfall apart was impossible too - the blocks were frozen solid. Therefore, I stuck to scanning the beach for material. The cold never once really bothered me; I was dressed in chest waders, a polar knee-length coat, 5mm neoprene gloves, and a neck gaiter to protect my face when needed. The wind, however, bit like nothing else! My glasses fogged no matter what I did and what direction I faced, and my nose and ears were all complaints when not covered. @RuMert was a genius to suggest a vacuum-sealed thermos containing hot water, because keeping my core warm was what allowed me to stay on the beach for 6 hours. At the end of the day, the hunt was not at all productive for a tooth-lover like me. I found a broken hemi, a drumfish tooth, and a few other tiny fossils. However, I did walk home with the smallest ecphora I've ever seen, about 90% complete (still needs prepped), and a wealth of knowledge about winter hunting. This was an important lesson. February My first tour with a guide, Paul of CHAPTours and DVPS. Tides were low and the weather cooperated for the most part. While my finds were few, I walked away with my first whale vert! Rescheduled from January, this was my first time going on a guided fossil hunt. I finally got to meet Paul, a fellow member of DVPS and owner/operator of CHAPTours in Maryland. He made the experience smooth for me and the other attendees by having us caravan from beach to beach, with GPS for back-up guidance. At the first beach, the exceptionally low tide exposed sandbars that prevented wave activity, and my rubber boots allowed me to walk several meters out into the crystal clear water without getting wet, which made hunting so very easy. While walking along towards the cliffs, diagonal to the shore, I came upon an old drone that had been in the ocean for a few weeks at least. I pulled this out of the water to be discarded on my way out, and placed it on the shore with my heavier belongings. Then, I returned to where I'd been walking to be sure I hadn't missed anything. A few moments later, I found my first ever whale vertebrae in about a foot of water! Further exploration yielded a broken piece of cetacean bone, as well as a thin piece of rib from a land animal of some sort, as well as a few small hemis, but the highlight of this beach was definitely the vert! Beach two was known as an "unusual" beach, where unexpected finds tend to pop up. Personally, I had no luck here, though I brought home a few interesting shells for friends. Even so, I enjoyed the walk and took a photo of some of the impressions left in iron by shells. The final beach of the day was good ol' Matoaka! Being that we were there thanks to Paul, we were able to park much closer to the beach than usual. The wind picked up though, so the crowd thinned out rather rapidly. I found a couple more tiny teeth before the unexpected cold chased me to my car as well. I thanked Paul for his time and effort, then headed on home. All in all, a great first time with a guide! March The experience with CHAPTours was so good that I signed up again. The weather was better, but the tides were higher as well. I found an unexpected artifact in fresh fall and educated a passersby here and there. A large clay-fresh hemi made the trip for me! This tour was quieter than the last, with a scant four attendees plus Paul leading the way. I enjoyed the peace, and the weather was nice too! While the tides were higher than desired, the water temperature was just nice enough that I was excited to sift with my sore feet in cold water. We began with an unfamiliar beach, one that was best known for large shells. While this wasn't really my speed, I made it my goal to help spot fossilized invertebrates for the shell enthusiasts along with me. It turned out, however, that I had very little spotting to do! We came upon a massive amount of fresh fall, yet undisturbed by the weather or other people. This fall was so fresh that we were trying to avoid falling through the loose dirt and clay! Needless to say, my fellow hunters found many a large shell here. I picked up a smaller, easier to carry shell, and a delightful but small hemi. While the guys continued to fawn over their massive bivalves, I started back towards the cars. Then, I found something even further out of my wheelhouse - a lid to a clay pot! Once home, I contacted archeologist Dr. Alex Glass and provided her with additional photos. She had this to say: Again, I don't typically have much interest in archeology, so this lid will be donated to the archeology lab when I next visit Maryland. I thought the extra information was very cool to read though! Now, back to the hunt! For the second beach, we once again headed to the place where I found my whale vert. This time, the sandbars were submerged and the tide kept us close to the cliffs. There was some older but "new to us" fall here, which we had to navigate, including some fallen trees. I didn't have much luck this time, finding only small teeth, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless! We then hit Matoaka as our final beach. It was busy this time, as the weather was good enough for beachgoers to be out and about. This time, I had my sifter out, and I was prepared to get wet. I spent the majority of the time there sifting away, pulling up small but pristine teeth - some of which I was able to send home with curious folks who had budding interest in what we were doing. (It was this trip that convinced me to start bringing along a dry box of small or broken teeth to give to potential hobbyists, because there's nothing like the excitement in someone's eyes when they realize what you've given them!) Eventually though, I took a break from the constant bending and lifting, and began using my fossil-hunting stick to dig through some fall. This was where I found my best find to date - a large, prisitine hemipristis serra, protected from erosion by the fall it was buried in. You don't find them much bigger in Maryland, from what I've heard! This was a dream find for me, and it sent me over the moon. I found other beautiful teeth on the beach that day, but nothing surpassed my gorgeous bed 17 snaggle. Going home that day, I was exhausted in the best way. The hunt was a delight, the company was good, and the experience was unforgettable.
  6. Snaggletooth19

    February Matoaka Trip

    Douglas Point was my destination last month, but I really love Matoaka, so I freed up some time to make it out there this past Wednesday. I try to make it out for some fossil hunting trips in the winter months, both for the benefits of less competition and more solitude at the beach, but also for some of the unique scenery. I really enjoy checking out some of the ice formations in winter along the water. There's some really neat looking ones I got some good photos of, along with some of my finds this trip. I made it out there just about at low tide at 8 am. I like to stay for a few hours, and only saw about 4 people, other friendly and interested fossil hunters. Right off the bat, walking around the tide line, I found two medium sized Hemis only about 3 feet apart, which was really encouraging. However, after a couple more hours, I didn't find too much more just sitting at the low tide line. This time last year, I had managed to find both a juvenile megalodon tooth as well as a Thecachampsa croc tooth, so I had high hopes, but really big finds weren't to be this time. Still a great place to be around nature, sit, and reflect. After doing some sifting a little later on though, I did find a nice medium sized C. hastalis tooth, which I don't find too often, so I was pretty happy with that. Overall, I do really enjoy Matoaka. Finds tend to be fewer than going to somewhere like Douglas or Purse, but at Matoaka there is always the promise of a big Hemi or Meg tooth just waiting out there to be found. Happy hunting.
  7. Hey all! My most recent excursion went pretty well. This is one of my favorite finds despite the size of it, but I can't find any good pictures to compare it to. The root is rather large but damage to it complicates IDing when you're as greenhorn as I am haha. Any ideas?
  8. We decided to take a vacation down to the Solomon's to celebrate our anniversary with a whole bunch of fossil hunting. For our first time out to the area, I'd call the trip a resounding success! We managed to visit the Calvert Cliffs State Park, Matoaka Beach, Cove Point & also attempted to visit Flag Ponds though the park was almost always at capacity. Our goal was to focus on shark's teeth though we wound up finding a larger array of non-shark material instead. Perhaps a reflection of the large influx of new to the hobby collectors focusing heavily on teeth? Overall, my impressions on the locations we visited/tried to visit Calvert Cliffs State Park Certainly my favorite location speaking to the overall experience. Taking the red trail (avoid the service road route, same distance but a much harsher up and down hike) gives you a gorgeous scenic 1.8mi hike through salt marshes and wetlands until you hit the strip of beach with cliff exposures The water here was clear with no jellyfish, algae or jagged rocks - such a refreshing dip when i'd take a break from beachcombing Collecting directly under the cliffs is dangerous/ill-advised as landslides do happen fairly often. While choosing to do so is at your own risk, there are many exposures and recent cliff falls to collect from I spent my time chasing after a "giant scallop" - after scouting around a bit I managed to hit the jackpot by carefully digging a couple of well preserved 5-7" scallops out of the sandy cliff falls Matoaka Beach I'd call Matoaka a solid #2, the diversity of inverts we found was impressive but we also ran into a ton of bugs on the beach along with a shore full of jellyfish which made the visit ever so slightly miserable Very crowded with a good portion of folks sifting for teeth, I spoke with a few people along the shore and most had maybe one or two teeth to show for a couple of hours of searching - knowing that I spent my time searching the shore for invert material instead There were a couple of cliff exposures along the north end of the beach, though most of what I could poke at was overly chalky and would instantly disintegrate including an almost intact ecphora Flag Ponds Calling flag ponds overcrowded would be an understatement, we visited the park 3 times on 2 different days only for it to be full. I was told there was a line of cars the moment the park opened at 9am for them to hit capacity around 9:30. Bit of a shame but good to know for the future Cove Point We were lucky to have a close friend living within the cove point community whom allowed us access to the stretch of beach there Being a private beach, Cove Point had the largest amount of fossil material available for collecting along the shorelines including an abundance of bone fragments, crab claws and ray plates The weekend's haul, cleaned up and drying - prep was easier than I expected, especially on the scallops which wound up being a lot less fragile than I expected (100% thought one or two would break on the hike out of CCSP) Cliff exposure at CCSP The fall I was prodding at, corner of the scallop is visible on the right Gorgeous molds in-situ Freshly pulled from the fall - Chesapecten Nefrens Total tripmakers - more Chesapecten Nefrens after cleanup, 2 with both valves one split in two Mystery object - iron concretion or some sort of trace burrow?
  9. Searcher78

    Teeth from Matoaka.

    Had a couple hours free today, so I had to get out.
  10. Rexofspades

    Matoaka Fossil Bone ID

    Hi Everyone! I went on a one man expedition to Matoaka Cabins last weekend, picked up some wonderful finds. but a couple pieces I discovered are puzzling me. I am all but certain they are bone. And I am also confident they are fossil based on the color, texture, and density. But Id like to know if there is any further identifying that can be done outside of them being bones? I admit its likely a bit of a long shot as they are isolated specimens, but any best guesses would be appreciated. My speculations are: long one is a cetacean rib segment. Small one is fragmentary fish vert. I can provide detailed photos of other angles if requested.
  11. Went out to Matoaka Beach this past wednesday for a sunny but pretty chilly day of fossil hunting. While I do enjoy chatting with other fossil hunters, having the beach pretty much to myself for the day was really nice. After a couple of hours pretty close to low tide, I spotted a sizable crocodile tooth rolling in the surf. I was already stoked about that, but the best was yet to come. Maybe about 30 minutes later, I was sifting around with my shark tooth sifter, and my breath caught, spotting this small but complete and terrific looking megalodon tooth. My first one! As always (at least for me), I found both pretty close to the bigger cliff falls further down the beach, for those of you familiar with the location. While it was freezing, it was my best trip to Matoaka to date, finding two uncommon and great quality fossil teeth. I also found a small but great quality hemi and what I think might be an aquatic mammal tooth (I'll post pictures separately for some opinions in the ID forum), as well as a few Ecphora shells. Matoaka can sometimes be hit or miss as those who frequent the location know all too well. I usually find at least something small there, but these finds show you can really find some great stuff if you look carefully enough.
  12. Snaggletooth19

    Help with Some Matoaka Beach Finds

    I was out at Matoaka Beach (Calvert Cliffs, Choptank Formation) a couple days ago and found a small but great quality megalodon tooth, a great-looking crocodile tooth, and then what looks to me to be a small aquatic mammal tooth. I have a couple questions about them. 1. Can anyone tell if the megalodon tooth is from a juvenile animal or just one of the posterior teeth of an adult animal? 2. What is the typical genus/species of crocodiles in this formation that you typically find teeth for? 3. Any ideas on the smaller find? I think it could be a tooth belonging to an aquatic mammal, but pretty weathered down without much enamel. Any other thoughts?
  13. bthemoose

    Matoaka 2-10-21

    I made it out to Matoaka Beach bright and early this morning on a day off. While I didn’t find a ton in the shark teeth department, I did nab my largest whale vert to date, a large ray dermal denticle, and some other nice Calvert Cliffs (Miocene) finds.
  14. bthemoose

    Matoaka 1-30-21

    I made it out to Matoaka yesterday before today’s snowstorm and had a successful Maryland Miocene hunt, despite a large amount of ice obscuring the shoreline. (I won’t complain about the cold after @RuMert’s trip report yesterday. ) I found an unusually high number of cetacean vertebrae and cookies (epiphyses), several Ecphoras, shark teeth, and some other nice finds. This Carcharodon hastalis tooth was waiting for me when I arrived on the beach. And this cookie was just a few feet away. Off to a good start! Heading north, the ice got progressively thicker along the shoreline, and for significant stretches covered up all of the gravels at water’s edge. But there were still a few things deposited further up the tideline from before temperatures dropped below freezing. ...including my second cookie of the day. ...and my third—it’s incomplete but is the biggest one I’ve found to date. As the day went on, the sunlight started to melt some of the ice, revealing additional fossils, such as this nice little Ecphora—the colors on these always look so much better when wet! Here’s my favorite find of the day: a small partial ray mouth plate. On first glance, this looked very much like just a seed husk in the water—I’m glad I took a closer look. I didn't find a ton of shark teeth, but the ones I found were generally of good quality, including this Hemi hiding in the sand. This is a weird one. It’s only part of a tooth (croc? cetacean?) and may not be identifiable, but has a bump/ridge across the tooth—almost like a restart of the crown. Pathological perhaps? Or maybe just a tooth design I’m unfamiliar with. If anyone has ideas, let me know. I'll post another photo below and can take additional ones from other angles if helpful. Here's a decent-sized croc (I think) tooth. Most of the enamel has worn off except for a small section on the side.
  15. bthemoose

    Great Day at Matoaka

    Recently, I haven't been having tremendous luck along the Calvert Cliffs, but I headed down to Matoaka Beach again yesterday and was rewarded with one of my best fossil hunts to date! I arrived around 10am, a couple of hours before low tide, and the Chesapeake Bay was as still as I've ever seen it in the year since I started fossil hunting. A little wave action can often be helpful to kick up fossils, so from the top of the cliffs I wasn't expecting much. But as it turned out, the water was extremely clear, which helped me find more submerged fossils than I usually find, and there were extensive exposed shell and gravel beds along the beach. Here's my first shark tooth find of the day--nothing out of the ordinary, but a good condition Carcharhinus sp. Less than an hour in, I found this nice whale tooth (my best so far) tumbling at water's edge. When you find a trip maker early on, it's a good day. And then I found a Meg (or probably a Chub)! It's missing most of the root and part of the right side, but this is my best one to date. The Meg was soon followed by this huge Hemi. It has a bit of root erosion but still-sharp serrations and measures over 1.4" -- roughly the same size as the biggest Hemi I've found to date. I love when there's a big ol' shark tooth just waiting for you on top of the sand. More to follow...
  16. I had Friday off and decided to head out to Matoaka Beach to do some shark tooth hunting along the Calvert Cliffs. I arrived bright and early and soon came across a decent-sized Hemi. Unfortunately, it was incomplete: missing one side of the root, some serrations, and part of the blade. That turned out to be the theme of the morning as I continued to find several other partial Hemis on the beach. When I finally found a complete tooth, it was in the 0.5- to 0.75-inch range, which is typically the size I find here. While I’ve found several tantalizing bits of larger Hemis at Matoaka, the largest complete tooth was under an inch. Still, finding even smaller and broken teeth is fun, and I had the beach mostly to myself with favorable tides. So, I kept going. And then, in a few inches of water, I saw what looked like a tooth. I definitely haven’t mastered the art of spotting submerged shark teeth. I’m used to my underwater “finds” being shells, rocks, leaves, twigs, and chunks of clay. But I reached down anyway. And I pulled up what is by far the largest Hemi I’ve found to date, measuring 1.28 inches along the slant and 1.22 inches wide—a complete and beautiful tooth! After a long day of fossil hunting, I had a few other nice finds too, but the Hemi was my trip maker. On my way out, I found one last broken tooth, which would have been a real monster, possibly in the 1.5-inch range. Maybe next time, I’ll find one of those intact too!
  17. molson1

    Unknown vertebra

    Found a vertebra in Calvert Cliffs, (Matoaka Beach) MD on the beach today. Approximately 3-3.5 cm in diameter and 2-2.5 cm thick. There are 6 “holes” spaced fairly evenly along the sides. Site is known for fossilized shells and shark’s teeth. Not sure if it’s shark, fish, or something else. Vertebra protrudes out maybe a half a centimeter on one side, so not perfectly round. But, could have been worn down in the bay. Not completely solid. I can hold it up to the light and see a few areas where light shines through a few pinholes. Anyone have any idea what it may have belonged to? Should I take pictures at another angle or with different lighting? Thanks!
  18. hokietech96

    Matoaka Beach

    Hi. In addition to going to Big Brook this week I was fortunate to get to Matoaka beach for the first time. Did not do as well but it was still had a blast. Hunted with @Searcher78 who always seems to find the nicest tiger shark teeth. I did find my first stingray barb though. Enjoy the pics.
  19. I_gotta_rock

    Dugong Bone

    From the album: Calvert Cliffs

    Look what washed up on the beach! Scratches on it may be tooth marks. Found on Matoaka Beach, Calvert County, Maryland
  20. I_gotta_rock

    Busycon spiniger

    From the album: Calvert Cliffs

    Can you believe I found this just sitting there, sticking out of a block of landslide material on the beach and wiggled it out with a screw driver? Never found even a suggestion of one before and this is only one of two I found in three days of carving through that block to discover the rest of its treasures. The other, sadly, is not in as good a shape, but still a treasure! Found at Matoaka Beach, St Leonard, Maryland.
  21. From the album: Calvert Cliffs

    Carefully exposed all of these with a dental pick from the lump of matrix in which they were encased. Nothing got moved, just glued insitu. top: Scaphella virginiana center left: Mariacolpus octonaria center right: Ecphora megane bottom left: arcadae indet. sp. bottom right: Glossus sp.
  22. I_gotta_rock

    Busycotypus sp.

    From the album: Calvert Cliffs

    I excavated this from matrix that fell out of the Drum Cliff Member of the Choptank Formation in Calvert Cliffs. I have looked at all the books and online resources I have to find a species, but nothing quite matches. If anyone has a species, I'd love to hear! This is the only specimen I've ever seen, let alone found. This one, like most other shells in the matrix, is extremely fragile and would not have survived exposure to the elements long.
  23. I_gotta_rock


    Collected on the beach. Donated to the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
  24. I_gotta_rock

    Venus Clam

    Collected from landslide material in the bay. Donated to the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
  25. I_gotta_rock

    Cup-and_saucer Snail

    Collected in landslide material in the Chesapeake Bay. Donated to the Delaware Museum of Natural History.
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