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  1. Hi all! The weather out here on the East Coast of the U.S. has finally started to warm up (sorta…) and for my husband and I (+ the occasional friends) that means a day trip out to Big Brook Preserve for a day of sifting and picnicking. The most major change we noticed was the new erosion. We had a stormy winter out here, with a lot of rainfall, winds, and flooding. There’s newly exposed strata throughout the brook, but about 5 minutes into the main trailhead there’s been a massive mudslide along the far bank. Several trees have fallen across the brook and those that were able to keep their grip on the bank have exposed roots. The bank will resettle and stabilize back up soon enough, but in the meantime please exercise caution when exploring/hunting in this area, especially during storms or high winds. Of course, with these changes comes newly exposed fossils along the creek bed ripe for the sifting! Here’s a collection of what my group and I found out on our first trip of the season. An overview We didn’t find as many teeth as we expected to with all the new collapsed strata and no particularly large ones - but we did find some with a beautiful pale coloring, including the stunning white one in the center there! I was able to find some of my first trace fossils! Two lovely pebbles, with possibly some sort of belemnite/shellfish/burrow imprints on the left side there, and some amazing shell imprints on the one on the right (both include imprints on both sides of the stones). And speaking of shells - we have some lovely marine fossils! The 4 scallops(?) in the foreground are fully closed, with both top and bottom shells intact - a first for us at Big Brook! And these guys range from tiny to itty-bitty. In the newly exposed strata within the major mudslide area there seemed to be a layer close to shoreline containing a MASSIVE amount of shells, and I’m assuming these baby scallops came from that layer. My hunch says it’s a layer from a period of local/mass extinction, but if anyone knows more about what that layer could be please let me know! Top image includes the finds that I think could be either fossilized wood or bone….then again they could just be your everyday rock! I’ll be posting in the Fossil ID topic soon with clearer images, so any help would be appreciated! Bottom image includes our first two vertebrae! The one on the right is about the size of a dime and so the one on the left is absolutely minuscule! I’m just amazed we were able to spot it in our sifters. And these…are our unknowns. Coral? Concretions? Fossilized bone? Or maybe just a rock? (But I am crossing my fingers for pure Gold on that one at that top…) And finally, here’s a bonus image of some of the beautiful stones we picked up along the way!
  2. LeighFossilMom

    Fossil or concretion from Ramanessin?

    Is this a fossil or has Ramanessin fooled me again? Thanks again. I really appreciate all of your help!
  3. Found a tooth at Ramanessin that I can't ID, and a partial vert. Guessing the tooth is mammal of some sort but can't seem to find a match online or from locals more familiar with the rarer teeth from Ramanessin. Definitely not modern. Any guesses?
  4. Several days ago, I found what appears to be a dermal scute from a Primitive Gavial-like Crocodile (Thoracosaurus neocesariensis) at Ramanessin Brook. I was hoping that someone here can confirm that this is what I think it is, and also shed some light on why it is so different looking from all the others I have seen. It appears to have a large flat area that is clear of any indents, which cover the entire piece in all other dermal scutes I have seen come out of this location. Perhaps this item is not what I thought it was.
  5. Rexofspades

    Ramanessin reptile Tooth ID

    Here are the two fragments I found in Ramanessin of what i believe to be mosasaur. the right one im unsure of, i still think its a cretaceous reptile. the left one, I am more certain is a mosasaur. but let me know what you think!
  6. My past two trips to Ramanessin Brook in Holmdel, NJ have been especially productive. Resulting in much larger teeth and much more diverse finds, Ramanessin has proven to be a much better spot than Big Brook for me. Here are the finds from the first trip: Many large anterior goblin shark teeth; a very large crow shark tooth; some very nice mackerel shark teeth; two pycnodont teeth; coral; a large ghost shrimp claw; a large ammonite fragment; a scallop with both shells intact; what I believe to be a fragment of a very large sawfish tooth (though it does seem especially striated for a sawfish) Finds from the second trip: More large goblin shark teeth (one pathological); another large crow; some very curvy mackerel shark teeth; small shark vert and a fragment of another; some sort of bony fish jaw; various sawfish crowns; a beaver tooth (more insight as to its age would be greatly appreciated); two Gastropod molds; ratfish jaw; I believe the two large fossils to the right are a coral imprint and possibly a lobster claw another pic of the beaver tooth; it seems hollow inside chewing surface seems worn; leads me to believe it is a modern adult beaver tooth up close pic of the lobster claw; noticeable “dots”
  7. Rexofspades

    Ramanessin Bone Id

    Hi all, me again, I wanted to share a closeup of the bone fragments that I found in Ramanessin to see if I could get them ID'd further since I know how the brook tends to make fake fossil bones i want to check that the ones I found are real fossil bone 1) the big one, i think it might be a cretaceous turtle shell, it passed the burn, and the lick test. 1A) I believe these are also enchodus jaw fragments. 2) 2A)
  8. Stick around, this one's a read but I'll try to make it fun. So, I have been to big brook last year, and While I enjoyed it, since I went in early feb, the ground was frozen which prevented me from finding much, as the brook was stingy that day. Nonetheless I decided to try my luck with Ramanessin as i heard good things about it. Because none of my family or friends could be bothered, I decided to take a day off work and drive 4 hours to the area and spend the night so I could get the most out of the location. what follows is the result of 2 days straight of fossil hunting. which I will try to tell the story of in order. Day 1 the scoop I arrive at the site a little past 12, choosing to waste no time, I make my way down to the brook and start to sift the gravel. as opposed to when I went to big brook in winter, Ramanessin was generous with her gifts. I found 4 teeth in the first scoop. I took this time to make my way up the stream cutting back and forth sifting every gravel pile I could find. my personal method is to put no more than 5 scoops into the sifter. that was the way to guarantee I got at least something out of it. it was during one of these sifts that I found the curious reptile tooth here. I will be doing a separate fossil id post later of the teeth and bones. but this was one that i knew was something special. I also found this really nice cross section of ammonite. the sutures were beginning to separate, any longer and they would have come undone. It was also this trip that I found these chunks of bone, now I know the brooks have this nasty habit of producing concretions and discoloring modern bones to Look like fossils, but i am 80 percent sure that I found some genuine articles here. Taking the ###### at some point in this day, I decided I needed to pee. so, to avoid being spotted I ducked into a small mouth of a tributary to do my business. while I was wrapping up, something caught my eye, something I couldn't believe. the outline of the Biggest, and likely one of the best lateral goblin shark teeth I have ever found. I was absolutely giddy. after picking it up and doing a little field prep washing it off in the water it was easily 1.8 in. and as the story usually goes as I am looking in this little alcove of gravel, I see the root of yet Another massive goblin tooth root, this time submerged in the dirt. I chanted to myself "please be whole" as I carefully brushed off the tooth to reveal a gloriously intact fossil. easily one of the best and most fortuitous pee breaks i have ever had! It was on my way back that I decided to put the trash bag I brought to good use and pick up the garbage I saw on the way. I'm not going to lie here, I have found it pretty shameful how many shards of glass and cans I would find in this place. But I took it upon myself to fill the shopping bag as best I could. I didn't want to be stuck out in the dark, so I hurried back to the car and dropped the trash in the nearest bin. Lodging back at the motel, I spent the evening cleaning off my newfound loot. I took this time to carefully superglue the ammonite chunk so that I wouldn't lose it. I took one of the plastic cups in the hotel room and cleaned my fossils with it. Day 2 lost sifter After breakfast, I returned to try my luck again, but when I opened the trunk of my car I was met with the absence of my sifter. I t was then that it dawned on me that when I came back to the car I had only my shovel and my trash bag in hand, tricking my brain into thinking i had everything! realizing it was probably lost, I went back to the brook to try my luck surface collecting. The region had received some rain overnight and into the afternoon, and although it wasn't flooding, the water was considerably higher than last time. i was almost discouraged until i noticed something bright blue on the opposite side of the brook... it was my sifter. right where i left it on the top of the overbank. I was so elated I was laughing at my turn of luck. "Hang On! I'm comin!" I yelled at the inanimate object. there was a fallen tree 4 meters from the sifter, so in my full wading gear, I straddled the trunk and shimmied over to the other side and retrieved it. mosasaur it was now that I decided to make my way upstream and sift past the areas that I had already hit. I noticed a few tracks of bootprints here and there. I was initially discouraged by the fact that whoever it was got further than I was hoping they did. but that all went away when as I was sifting through a pile of gravel, I noticed a sheen of blackish enamel. picking it up I realized this was likely yet Another reptile tooth, and the chances that I bagged a mosasaur had effectively doubled. (did I mention yet that this was my 1st time to Ramanessin?) check your spoils as I made my way upstream, I came across the ruins of some old concrete structure in the middle of the brook, either a dam or a bridge foundation of some sort. to my right I saw a large spoil pile. out of curiosity, I started to look at it trying to see if there was anything the previous person missed. and boy was there. I found another huge lateral goblin, and (Pictured separately) a massive sawfish rostral tooth. it was crazy to me thinking about missing not one, but Two easily trip maker sized teeth in your spoil pile. let this serve as a lesson to newbies, to double check spoil piles you see, just because you never know what the last guy missed! crow island I waded and sifted my way upstream past the concrete structure, tactically using my shovel as a sounding stick of sorts and pointing my toes in the direction of the current so as not to lose footing. I stopped just past a footbridge where there was a little island of gravel that had accumulated over the weeks. as I scanned the shore, I saw another trip maker: an absolutely huge Squalicorax prisodontus tooth. it is at this point that I notice that I want alone, there was a group of boys that went bicycling overhead. now, all through the day I was completely alone, talking to myself about the stuff i was finding and being a general silly guy. I'm sure that if anyone came up to me while I was like this, they'd think I was insane. I took this brief encounter as my sign to start heading back to the car. the wade back the wade back I made it a resolution to not sift bit surface collect only. the thing is, that in the hours between when I got there and now, it had stopped raining. and when the rain stopped the waters started to recede after an hour or two. So here I was, walking back to the car past effectively virgin shoreline, with only an hour of sunlight left. I was delaying myself left and right with tooth after tooth that I would find on the shorelines. some being decent sized in their own right! after I returned home, I spent the remaining hours of my sanity cleaning and sorting the finds of the day. this is the total finds for day 2. Aftermath below is the combined total of fossils. of the identifiable items I found approximately 234 goodies over those 2 days. my display case for Cretaceous NJ was looking a little sparse before, but now its looking a little fuller as I am writing this. if you notice any special things in the pictures I missed, please let me know, I love educating myself on these things.
  9. jonnyquest

    Shark tooth identification

    Hello forum members. Here are some teeth I found recently in a n.j. brook that I could use some help with. 1 to 8?? The other pic is a mix of mostly goblin and porbeagle sharks from past trips. First and second tooth at the top left are pathological. One twisted Archaeolamna kopingensis and the second is goblin shark that is hooked or fanged.
  10. These are some odd stream finds (fossils? / weird concretions?) from a spring 2022 trip the Ramanessin Brook in Holmdel, NJ. They were all recovered from the Cretaceous stream bed sediment. This is my first time uploading for ID help, so I apologize for any issues with photo quality or lack of scale (I still need to invest in a ruler). Thank you so much for any and all help! 1. (Angle 1) 1. (Angle 2) 2. (Angle 1) 2. (Angle 2) 2. (Angle 3) 3. (Angle 1) 3. (Angle 2) 4. (Hollow on the inside) 5. Sorry for the large photo size. I did not realize how they would turn out until they were on my computer.
  11. Despite the heat I managed to get a solo trip down to the Ramanessin yesterday afternoon. I was hoping after the rains this past week things might be a little stirred up. On my last post I joked about the tiny super worn mosasaur tooth breaking the curse... and I am happy to report I was right. Little bit of everything this trip (small squares are 1/4 inch): Big mosasaur tooth, worn, but it made me very happy Pretty nice little lobster/shrimp Partial ratfish plate Coral/sponge? Crow shark tooth. My biggest of the day had a busted up tip, but this medium sized one was nice
  12. Hi everyone, I was wondering if you could help me out with something here. I found this piece of ammonite at Ramanessin Brook (whole piece is about 6cm across). I initially thought it was some sort of internal cast of a gastropod but when I noticed the suture patterns I realized it had to be the inner whorl of an ammonite. However, I'm perplexed by the texture of this piece. Parts of it displays an almost "scaly" pattern which I've never seen before. Any ideas what could have caused this? Thanks! Some closer images of the texture:
  13. I was at Ramanessin Brook yesterday 6/19/21 and met rather friendly and well informed Jeffrey P from fossil forum. Right after we parted I found this bone that reminds me of a mammal phalange of more recent times than the Cretaceous. Can anyone identify its previous owner and when they lived?
  14. Spent another afternoon on the Ramanessin yesterday. Walked in with a club from South Jersey who piled in at the big gravel bar with all the downed trees a little below the dam, including a relatively new addition of a tulip tree that is still covered in leaves. Later, I also met a member of a topographical survey team who was walking the stream bed and ran into a younger local who I have seen there several times previously. Overall a pretty busy day and much cloudier and cooler than last Saturday. (30 degree difference week over week) Unfortunately the trip was more of a heartbreaker than the banner trip last weekend. A lot of interesting and colorful teeth, but all the best stuff was broken or otherwise banged up The big goblin blade came up in the sifter with the point sticking out of the gravel and I got excited for a second before crashing back to reality All 5 broken sawfish rostrals came up in the same spot within 15 minutes... very frustrating. Overall the teeth were a little bigger than my past few visits and the color variety was great.
  15. Hi everyone, I found this at Ramanessin Brook today. I thought it resembled the crocodile scutes that can be found here but I've never seen one in person and I know that concretions can do really tricky things so I'm not sure. Thoughts?
  16. I had a great day yesterday collecting at the Ramanessin Brook with @Jeffrey P and @frankh8147 and members of the DVPS. The weather was a bit overcast but the iffy weather certainly did not take away from the great accumulation of finds. From what I could tell everyone seemed to find something special, with the find of the day going to Frank. I started out finding a bunch of shark teeth and slowly transitioned to finding more fish teeth and other goodies from the brook. I seem to have a penchant for finding crustacean claws as this is the second trip in a row on which I have found a crustacean claw. The finds from about 5 hours of sifting Here are some of my favorite finds from the trip: A little piece of ammonite Pycnodont (Anomoeodous phaseolus) lateral tooth on a section of mouth plate Enchodus lower palatine jaw fragment Tiny crustacean claws (probably ghost shrimp) A small red Archaeolamna kopingensis A cool little clam steinkern I found just hanging out on a gravel bar
  17. steviefossils

    unknown Ramanessin pieces

    Hi all, I made my first trip out to Ramanessin Brook (NJ cretaceous) today. I found several teeth, and a partial shark vert. I also found what is most likely a rock, but might have some impression in it, and a partial bone(?) with nubs and grooves. If anyone can help with either I appreciate it. I took an overall photo of each, and then close ups using a jeweler's loupe. If the closeup photos are not adequate enough I can try to take better photos. I have a decent mirror-less camera, but I don't have a macro lens for the closeups. The light piece is probably just a rock. But the dark piece appears to be something, fossil or not. Thanks! Steve
  18. I’ve had Big Brook and Ramanessin on my shark tooth hunting list for a while and finally made it up to both today. It’s a 6-hour roundtrip drive from where I live and with the days still pretty short this time of year, I had originally planned to spend my limited time just at Big Brook. After an hour-and-a-half of mostly striking out on shark teeth there, however, I decided to head over to Ramanessin, which both @Bob-ay and @PaleoNoel had recommended. Luckily, the two spots are only about 10 minutes apart, so I didn’t waste much time in transit, and I was rewarded with much better gravels at Ramanessin than I’d found at Big Brook. Some pictures of my trip and finds are below. While I’d hoped to find more intact shark teeth in the Cretaceous streams today (nearly all that I found were partials), all-in-all, I had an enjoyable trip and found a decent variety of things for my first time in the area. I look forward to returning! I parked at and entered Big Brook via Hillsdale Road. Unfortunately, there weren't a ton of exposed gravels there today (I was walking in the direction of Boundary Road, though I stopped about 2/3 of the way there). My first fossil find of the day: Belemnitella americana. These are pretty common and I had a couple from Big Brook already via a trade with @butchndad but this was my first belemnite find ever! I found this Enchodus petrosus fang on one of the first decent gravel bars. It measures 36 mm long and turned out to be my find of the day. This was the only (mostly) compete shark tooth (it's missing the very tip) that I found in my hour and a half at Big Brook. I believe it's a small Cretalamna appendiculata. I only found two other fragments of shark teeth in the time I was there. Photos from Ramanessin coming up...
  19. I’m thinking about heading up to NJ tomorrow for my first Cretaceous hunt, and would love any advice from more experienced members, both generally and for this time of year (other than dressing for the cold of course). I was thinking Ramanessin as I’ve read here that it’s better for shark teeth, but I’m open to Big Brook as well if you think it’s better for a first trip. Along the Calvert Cliffs I mostly surface collect—is that also an effective strategy at Ramanessin and/or Big Brook, or is sifting likely to produce better results? Any advice on where to enter/park would also be helpful. If I do go to Ramanessin, I’ve read that there’s limited parking on Holmdel-Middletown Road across from the elementary school (I’m assuming parking at the school itself will be a no-go since it’s a school day, though I’m not sure if they’re doing in-person classes). Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
  20. Vin

    Ramanessin Brook ID

    Hello everybody, does anybody know what these fossils are? Found in ramanessin Brook NJ. I think they are teeth from fish. Possibly some are sawfish? One is a jaw fragment? Thank you to all that can help
  21. Snaggle_tooth

    Ramanessin Brook Bone?

    Hello all, on a trip to Ramanessin brook as I write this. Came across something that looks suspiciously like a bone fragment. Mostly just looking for a confirmation if it is ir isnt, but if anyone wants to take a crack at ID that would be appreciated as well! I hate to be someone who posts up a concretion asking if it is a fossil, and I can normally tell the difference, but it looks a bit too bony! Haha! Thanks! -Snag
  22. I am planning my second trip to New Jersey in a couple of weeks. I want to return to Big Brook and/or hit up Ramanessin. Last time I went I had a spectacular time at Big Brook, and one of my fossils is still pending identification with the NJ museum Last time I parked at the Boundary Road lot and walked south to the riverbed, figuring less people probably went that way. Are there better sections to explore or better/different access points? Also pondering Ramanessin just for variety/the heck of it. Shown is the rough map of where I wandered last time.
  23. PrehistoricWonders

    NJ shark tooth ID

    Hi, can anyone identify this shark tooth for me, I found it at Ramanessin brook the other day and I’ve looked on all the New Jersey fossil identification websites But can’t seem to find a good match. Tia.
  24. jonnyquest

    Help with fossils found 5/31/20

    I found a few things at Ramanessin creek in N.J. that I could use some help in identifying. It's a Cretaceous stream.
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