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Dugongs in the peace


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Peace river rat

Question, I have been digging ALOT in the peace river in Arcadia this year, not one dugong rib. Yet I can head north 7 miles or so to Brownville and find at least 5 a day.

 

Why do yall think this is? Thanks.

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Fossildude19

Heavier fragments not being carried by the river as far? 

Dugong grave yard or shark feeding frenzy area?

Could be a number of different reasons.

Be interesting to see other opinions/theories. 

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Peace river rat
10 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

Heavier fragments not being carried by the river as far? 

Dugong grave yard or shark feeding frenzy area?

Could be a number of different reasons.

Be interesting to see other opinions/theories. 

Sounds reasonable, thanks

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Different sections of the Peace yield different ratios of marine vs terrestrial fossils. The 5 miles difference between Heard Bridge Road and Zolfo Springs is a good example. Tons of Dugong and megs at Heard Bridge.......much fewer at Zolfo. Mostly mammal and reptile at Zolfo......much less at Heard Bridge (largely horse). We've always puzzled why, but probably had to do with where the estuary was, how the rivers cut through it and who knows what else. 

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Also, the gravel size where you are digging will have a lot to do with finding dugong rib chunks. Near Brownville the gravel is a mix of smaller material with some larger chunks mixed in. I find occasional smaller fragments of dugong there. Halfway back down to Arcadia I've found a spot that has very chunky (up to bowling ball size) gravel. The larger boulders of matrix are really stretching the definition of "gravel" but there is also lots of material in the walnut to golfball size and in that spot I'll pull on average probably half a dozen larger chunks of dugong in every screen. I go there specifically to collect paleo-paperweights whever I take friends to the Peace. Further down is a site listed as "FINE" on my GPS which has gravel barely big enough to be held back by a 1/4" sifting screen (virtually nothing would be retained by a 1/2" screen). This site has lots and lots of tiny shark teeth and associated fossils and never any dugong ribs. I tell people fossils don't know they are fossils but think they are just rocks and so they hang out with rocks of a similar size. A simplification to be sure but there is some truth to larger fossils being found in the more coarse gravels. Exceptions like pulling a complete mammoth tooth from a sandy pit with only small gravel are the exceptions that, I guess, prove the rule.

 

Would be interesting to plot the density of dugong ribs (a reliable fossil throughout most of the Peace River) to see how the density changes. I know that I saw very little dugong where we were last weekend on the TFF group hunt. You don't notice its absence till you realize after an hour of sifting that you've not turned up a single dugong rib.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Peace river rat
8 hours ago, digit said:

Also, the gravel size where you are digging will have a lot to do with finding dugong rib chunks. Near Brownville the gravel is a mix of smaller material with some larger chunks mixed in. I find occasional smaller fragments of dugong there. Halfway back down to Arcadia I've found a spot that has very chunky (up to bowling ball size) gravel. The larger boulders of matrix are really stretching the definition of "gravel" but there is also lots of material in the walnut to golfball size and in that spot I'll pull on average probably half a dozen larger chunks of dugong in every screen. I go there specifically to collect paleo-paperweights whever I take friends to the Peace. Further down is a site listed as "FINE" on my GPS which has gravel barely big enough to be held back by a 1/4" sifting screen (virtually nothing would be retained by a 1/2" screen). This site has lots and lots of tiny shark teeth and associated fossils and never any dugong ribs. I tell people fossils don't know they are fossils but think they are just rocks and so they hang out with rocks of a similar size. A simplification to be sure but there is some truth to larger fossils being found in the more coarse gravels. Exceptions like pulling a complete mammoth tooth from a sandy pit with only small gravel are the exceptions that, I guess, prove the rule.

 

Would be interesting to plot the density of dugong ribs (a reliable fossil throughout most of the Peace River) to see how the density changes. I know that I saw very little dugong where we were last weekend on the TFF group hunt. You don't notice its absence till you realize after an hour of sifting that you've not turned up a single dugong rib.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

This definitely makes sense, thanks digit!

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