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Hey everyone!

 

On Wednesday, as I finally had some time, I decided to take Sara out to my favorite hunting spot: the Zandmotor (Netherlands). I definitely did not regret that decision!

If you've never heard of the Zandmotor before, it's an artificial beach extension just south of The Hague, and the sand that was used was dredged from the North Sea and is full of Ice Age megafaunal mammal bones and tons of Eemian shells. If you want to see some more of my finds and hunts there, just look up "Zandmotor" in the TFF search bar and you should find a bunch of stuff :) 

When we got there it was raining, which annoyed me a little bit because the forecast said it wouldn't... The rain also makes the sand stick to the fossils which can become annoying when looking for small fossils or trying to recognize the thing you just picked up. But, having just spent an hour in the bus to get here, I didn't want to turn back immediately. Luckily the rain stopped within half an hour, and I wasn't even on the Zandmotor yet (I have to walk about an hour from the bus stop to the Zandmotor itself) and after that the weather alternated between cloudy and sunny which was nice. 

 

While I usually always take a pass by the shell banks, today I decided to only walk along the shoreline to increase the chances of finding good mammal stuff. In fact, there had been a strong eastern wind on Tuesday which helped uncover a lot of the bones and make them wash ashore. This did not go unnoticed, there were a lot indeed!

 

Here is my first big find of the day, a great complete horse astralagus! 

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Sara standing on a jellyfish

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After a little less than 2 hours of hunting, I stumbled upon something absolutely incredible... 

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A complete mammoth molar! I just couldn't believe it... it was laying there right out in the open, easy for anyone to spot. Somehow I was the first to find it. I was screaming for a good 5 minutes like a little girl that just got the toy princess castle she had dreamed of for years. This is almost definitely my best find ever in all my years of fossil hunting!

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On to some pictures of the finds:

(The shells are all from the Eem Formation, which is Eemian aged (late Pleistocene, around 120'000 years old). The mammal stuff is from the Ice Age (Weichselian, around 40'000 years old.)

 

A gorgeous complete Dosinia exoleta!

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Here's a small but very nice Dosinia lupinus. I found two others of this species too, which were slightly bigger but not very good preservation. 

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A nice Venerupis decussata

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A fantastic complete Mactra stultorum plistoneerlandica.

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Here is a very weird-looking Venerupis senescens. While this species is rather common, this one is quite big, thick and round-looking which I found interesting.

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A huge piece of bone, my biggest yet of the Zandmotor. I'm surprised no one picked it up before me! I think it's probably a leg bone of a steppe bison. 

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Here is the horse astralagus I found. My first one, and I think it's looking really good! I like it a lot :) 

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Here's a post-temporal bone from a fish. Pretty interesting. I believe this bone is Eemian, same formation as the shells.

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Here's another pretty cool find too! This is the premolar of a red deer Cervus elaphus, but looking at how the root is missing (and not broken off) I think this is a deciduous tooth. Someone suggested that this one never erupted from the jaw. What are your thoughts?

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This one is an incomplete dermal denticle of a probably a thornback ray, Raja clavata. Almost surely Eemian. Never found something like this before and I think it's pretty cool. 

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And finally, some pictures of my best find, the mammoth molar! From the woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius. I'm so happy with it! 

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So this was definitely an incredible hunt for me, and quite surely my best hunt ever, on the Zandmotor and in general. Even when setting the mammoth molar aside, it was a pretty successful hunt, where I found a bunch of interesting different fossils, mostly in the vertebrate stuff. I normally always pay more attention to the fossil shells, and while I still kept my eye out for them today (and found some pretty decent ones!), this hunt was for the first time much more vertebrate-oriented. 

I must say, I probably wouldn't have gotten this lucky if it weren't for Sara, she is a very strong fossil-hunter and definitely brings a lot of luck!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Max

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Wow you did very well Max!  It looked like you had the entire beach to yourself too.  Maybe that little bit of rain scared your collection competition away.

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Fantastic finds, Max! That mammoth molar is incredible! All of those Ice Age bones are wonderful. What a great trip you had. Thanks for sharing the pictures. :)

 

Julianna

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2 minutes ago, caldigger said:

Wow you did very well Max!  It looked like you had the entire beach to yourself too.  Maybe that little bit of rain scared your collection competition away.

That's the thing, there were other hunters there! I made sure not to catch them on my location pictures (not too hard, as the beach is huge), and seeing that this week are holidays for most Dutch people of this region the hunters were there. People usually also go in the morning, but I went in the afternoon (simply because I'm lazy and don't wanna get out of bed early during holidays :P) and it was high tide; it's obviously better to hunt at low tide. That's why I was really surprised to see so much big stuff, as it usually always gets picked up quickly. So I don't think the rain scared them away; however, I suspect Sara's ferocious growl really did intimidate our competition and made them less focused ;)

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1 minute ago, old bones said:

Fantastic finds, Max! That mammoth molar is incredible! All of those Ice Age bones are wonderful. What a great trip you had. Thanks for sharing the pictures. :)

 

Julianna

Thanks! I'm glad you appreciated it :) 

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Max great finds and I really love that tooth. The Fossil Gods were good to you.

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LordTrilobite

Some really nice finds! Be sure to take good care of that wonderful Mammoth tooth. Are you planning on desalinating or glueing it to prevent it from breaking into pieces?

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Well done to Sara and to you, Max.

What a day, some great finds and congratulations on the mammoth tooth. :)

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