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Hello,

I thought I'd share a little bit about my first fossil collecting trip to Greens Mill Run creek, Greenville, NC. As you can see from the pictures, the highlight of the day was this good sized great white tooth, Carcharodon carcharias (correct me if I'm wrong on the ID)! I found it within the first 15 minutes of searching, in about the 5th shovel of material into the screen! Talk about motivation to keep looking! The rest of the search didn't turn up anything nearly as exciting but it was still a fun trip and I found lots of small teeth. Most were fragmented and so I only kept a handful of them. I also saw a lot of fossil bone fragments but nothing I felt was worth holding on too. I know there is more to be found in Greens Mill Run so I look forward to going back soon!

On another note, my fossil adventure was almost cut short before it began after I came within a few inches of stepping on a copperhead snake as I was walking towards the creek! I don't have a huge fear of snakes but coming so close to a venomous one with my ankles and lower leg exposed was pretty scary! Luckily it didn't strike!

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Glad that You survived the encounter with the snake.

Nice finds.

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That is one nice tooth! It somewhat dominates all the other (also very nice!) finds. Glad to hear you avoided getting bit!

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sixgill pete

Nice Great White. Honestly, that copperhead was probably more afraid of you and just wanted to get away. Bu=t she / he is a beautiful snake. I like the white color phase better than the red phase. Old timers call that a White Oak.

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Love the white! :wub:

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That's one beautiful GW tooth you found there, congrats:fistbump:

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Calvin Jenkins

Awesome tooth, just think you could have gone home after five scoops (Doh! isn't that the way it works sometimes?)

 

So were your ankles & legs exposed because you were walking barefoot to the creek?  I usually wear water "shoes" but I tend to rustle the vegetation with my river probe (clipped golf club) as I walk, still I stepped right over a snake this spring myself.       

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35 minutes ago, Calvin Jenkins said:

Awesome tooth, just think you could have gone home after five scoops (Doh! isn't that the way it works sometimes?)

 

So were your ankles & legs exposed because you were walking barefoot to the creek?  I usually wear water "shoes" but I tend to rustle the vegetation with my river probe (clipped golf club) as I walk, still I stepped right over a snake this spring myself.       

I was shocked when I saw that tooth in my screen! I think I said 'REALLY?!!' out loud when I found it. Very unexpected. And I was wearing water shoes and shorts but the shoes don't come above the ankle. I luckily avoided the snake but I did scratch my ankle on a stick protruding from the creek bed! Nothing serious but I do think I'll find some better footwear for my next GMR trip! There was a LOT of glass as well! The copperhead I nearly stepped on was right out in the open cut grass, not far from the parking lot! I was looking ahead trying to spot the creek and not looking at my feet at all. 

 

 

Thanks everyone! I'm very happy with this tooth. It's by far the biggest GW I've found and made the 2 hour drive to GMR worth it!

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8 hours ago, sixgill pete said:

Nice Great White. Honestly, that copperhead was probably more afraid of you and just wanted to get away. Bu=t she / he is a beautiful snake. I like the white color phase better than the red phase. Old timers call that a White Oak.

I agree it was a beautiful snake. I don't know if it saw me coming or not but it sure didn't try to get out of my way. It also sat nicely for us and another family with kids and a dog to take photos of it! I thought it's behavior was a little strange compared to other snakes I've seen, which usually flee, but I'm no snake expert. It wasn't aggressive, just seemed really calm to be out in the open like that. Still startled me to come so close to it without seeing it first.

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sixgill pete
1 minute ago, beth180202 said:

I agree it was a beautiful snake. I don't know if it saw me coming or not but it sure didn't try to get out of my way. It also sat nicely for us and another family with kids and a dog to take photos of it! I thought it's behavior was a little strange compared to other snakes I've seen, which usually flee, but I'm no snake expert. It wasn't aggressive, just seemed really calm to be out in the open like that. Still startled me to come so close to it without seeing it first.

 

 

 

It was cool today. Probably sunning to keep warm

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8 hours ago, sixgill pete said:

I like the white color phase better than the red phase. Old timers call that a White Oak.

 

Really nice great white!

 

Don

 

I saw a copperhead on my property a few years back that was white like this.  I thought it was albino.  I didn't know they had a white color phase.  I see the red color phase copperheads all the time in MD/VA.

 

Marco Sr.

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sixgill pete
1 minute ago, MarcoSr said:

 

Really nice great white!

 

Don

 

I saw a copperhead on my property a few years back that was white like this.  I thought it was albino.  I didn't know they had a white color phase.  I see the red color phase copperheads all the time in MD/VA.

 

Marco Sr.

 

 

Marco, I see both of them around my house, but the red phase (a.k.a. Red Oak) is much more common.

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1 minute ago, sixgill pete said:

 

 

Marco, I see both of them around my house, but the red phase (a.k.a. Red Oak) is much more common.

 

Don

 

I've only seen the white color phase copperhead that one time in VA.  I've probably seen over 100 red color phase copperheads.  I see them all the time around the Potomac River.

 

Marco Sr.

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sixgill pete

I see lots of them around me, along with a ton of cottonmouths. 

 

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I love hunting GMR, havent been in several years though. Find all kind of stuff in there, the great whites are to die for. Really good looking one you found! Congrats!!!!!

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Around here (Pender County NC) copperheads are called "beech leafs" because they are light colored and blend in with beech leaves on the forest floor. Only red copperheads around here are corn snakes or red phased mole snakes. Both non-poisonous. Best way to get bitten is to step on one or touch it inadvertently while weeding for instance.

  Reddish or coppery colored copperheads are mostly a northern thing in the east.

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Here's a copperhead from my front yard (Raleigh area of NC). The second picture shows a copperhead from a nearby park that has an injury to it's face. I would see this particular snake almost every day for about a month several years ago. It was always within 50 feet of the same location. The Raleigh Museum of Natural Science has a dark phase copperhead in its collections that is mostly black on top. I think it was found in NC.

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sixgill pete
3 hours ago, Plax said:

Around here (Pender County NC) copperheads are called "beech leafs" because they are light colored and blend in with beech leaves on the forest floor. Only red copperheads around here are corn snakes or red phased mole snakes. Both non-poisonous. Best way to get bitten is to step on one or touch it inadvertently while weeding for instance.

  Reddish or coppery colored copperheads are mostly a northern thing in the east.

 

Maybe the larger amount of red colored ones in my area is due to the dense swampy areas?

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I think that the inner piedmont and mountains have the coppery colored ones and the coastal plains have the pale ones. They are intergrading subspecies. Snap me a pic next time you see a red one six. Always interested in herps as you know. Wish I had time to come up to Trenton and flip some tin!

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sixgill pete

and I have some tin to flip at the far end of my property. Maybe I will try to find one or two here the next day I am off and snap you some pics. Cant do it with certain nephews and son in laws around because they will want to shoot .

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sTamprockcoin

OK I now no longer want to do any creek hunting down south:(. If (when) I die mineral/fossil hunting I want it to be geologic not herpetitc!

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Macrophyseter
3 minutes ago, sTamprockcoin said:

OK I now no longer want to do any creek hunting down south:(. If (when) I die mineral/fossil hunting I want it to be geologic not herpetitc!

Don't worry, I'm sure they usually dont bite if you leave them alone, because theres no reason for them to defend then, and snakes don't eat humans (well unless they're starved to near death) 

 

Anyways, that great white tooth is l-o-v-e-l-y. All the other teeth are nice too. Keep up the good work, and make sure to give the snakes some space!

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copperheads are one of those snakes that sort of "freeze" rather than "flee" when approached, LOL, as opposed to those snakes like  water moccasins which I have actually had chase me...As such, they would bite if stepped on, but otherwise are not aggressive. And I too, admire the teeth. Be sure to wear shoes protecting your ankles as well, it is easy to hunt on slippery rocks and either twist your ankle, or get it lodged in between a couple of rocks. And I have learned always to look in the immediate area I am going to step. I was on the 10 mile creek one time, standing in six inches of water on limestone, and took a step to the left to check out a fossil exposed on a bank...I slid, and immediately was over my head...the limestone I was on, was just a shelf. Fortunately i was able to grab a branch as I went down, or my friend might have wondered what had happened to me, while I would have been trapped in an underwater cavern. yuk. Still scarey. Good news is, the shell I found is fabulous. 

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