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Questions Regarding the Late Cretaceous of NJ

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Dear Fellow Forum members,


Lately I have been somewhat frustrated by my dearth of knowledge on the Late Cretaceous deposits and fauna of NJ. I collect the Late Cretaceous of NJ frequently and am seeking a more thorough comprehension of everything related to it. While reading research papers can go far, there is some information that is proving difficult to find or procure. Here I have listed some of the questions that I have come up with, hopefully some can be answered. At the very least, some pointers would be a great start (links to papers, personal experiences, photos specimens in your collection, etc..). Cheers till we meet in the stream again.

1. What is the current state of knowledge on Peyeria sp. in NJ?
2. How many species of sand tiger are currently found in the NJ Late Cretaceous?
3. What is the best referential repository of finds for Necrocarcinus sp.? (probably MAPs, but I forgot to check when I went there)

4. Are there any documented pieces of Necrocarcinus sp. besides claw fragments?

5. Has Enchodus ferox been documented anywhere else in NJ other than Site H_?
6. How diagnostic are most teeth of the Crocodilia order in common stream systems?
7. Is there any dispute over whether X. vetus is the sole supplier of Xiphactinus. sp teeth in NJ?
8. Is there a specimen of C. magnus jaw fragment from NJ or MD?
9. What is the likelihood that some specimens of Ischyodus bifurcatus are in fact some other chimaeriforme?
10. How many documented Globidens sp. teeth from NJ exist in scientific repositories?
11. What are the primary differences between A. phaseolus and A. latidens?
12. What is the commonality (personal experience) of fused Chondrichthyian vertebrae as float?
13. Is there any work illuminating how many potential Pachyrhizodus species    there are in NJ?
14. Is there a repository of scientifically accurate (well, as much as is possible) NJ fossil art work?
15. Does anyone have any pictures of Xiphactinus sp. or Enchodus sp. pectoral fins from NJ?

16. Does Squalicorax "kaupi" = Squalicorax lindstromi, or is the latter more specific? (Didn't S. kaupi refer to potentially multiple species? Is S. lindstromi a paleobucket too or one of the species S. kaupi may have referred to?)


@Carl @non-remanié @frankh8147 @The Jersey Devil @Jeffrey P @njfossilhunter @hokietech96 @brad hinkelman @Darwin Ahoy

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brad hinkelman

ok im now really really really frustrated by my dearth of knowledge on the Late Cretaceous deposits and fauna of NJ with those questions......lol....:)   

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Below is a great guide on rare crustaceans of the New Jersey Cretaceous, including Necrocarcinus. I'm not positive all claws commonly associated with them are identified correctly (for example, we have no idea what 'my' crab, Costadromia Hajzeris' claws looked like.


There is no current debate I am aware of of any Xiphactinus species other than vetus being present but with all the teeth that go unidentified,  I guess audax could be possible.


Enchodus ferox is DEFINITELY present in the stream you were digging in when I saw you the other day but other than that, I'm not sure.


Crocs are tough! David Parris once showed me a jaw and pointed out the difference between the different teeth of a single individual so you know where I stand on that one.


GREAT post, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to say!!



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The Jersey Devil

1) Those Peyeria denticles could possibly be coming from Ischyrhiza, but there is a chance they are different animals because Peyeria is way less common.

2) Sand tigers are a mess. I tend to just group them by the usual names Eostriatolamia holmdelensis, Carcharias samhammeri, and Odontaspis aculeatus. If I'm not sure between the first two "species" I tend to just sort by size and what not.

5) I think E. ferox is rather common. A lot of enchodus has those fine serrations if you look closely. Who knows, maybe E. petrosus is synonymous with E. ferox?

6) Croc tooth ...=... Croc tooth

9) I think it's just I. bifurcatus in the common streams. Edaphodon and others are found elsewhere

16) "Kaupi" is a paleobucket. I believe the Jersey Squalis are poorly studied.


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Here's what I can offer:


1. Very little know because they are so rare. All that should be confidently said is that they are chondrichthyan dermal ossicles.
2. This question will likely never be safely answered for any fossil sharks known only from teeth, i.e., the overwhelming majority of them.
3. I'd guess MAPS

4. Ask Ralph

5. Enchodus species should be trusted almost as much as fossil shark species. But E. ferox is generally the one named as the most common throughout the area.
6. Not very diagnostic. Croc teeth, in general, offer little to distinguish them from other similar ones.
7. Not enough material for a valuable dispute.
8. I've never heard of any plesiosaur jaw fragments from the ACP. And C. magnus is a nomen dubnium, I believe.
9. Fragments of chimaeriforms are as hard to deal with as many of these other groups.
10. I know of one in a private collection.
11. This probably can't be known from isolated teeth.
12. I know of none.
13. They are way too rare for this to occur.
14. I know of none.
15. I seriously doubt any have ever ben found.

16. Save yourself a lot of trouble and surrender to the impossibility of shark tooth classification based on loose teeth.


A lot of your frustrations come from dealing with a scrap fauna. Many of these problems are inherent in how such deposits work. We get very high diversity but extremely low potential for association or articulation of elements. This will forever leave us in the dark about certain things. It takes a long time to get used to this. I had many questions like yours when I started decades ago.Think of a junkyard full of wrecked cars. You may be certain that the bits of windshield came from different types of cars but your chances of determining which are nearly zero. Better to find a hood ornament or a hubcap. 

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