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Calvert County, MD Weekend Tour


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We decided to take a vacation down to the Solomon's to celebrate our anniversary with a whole bunch of fossil hunting. For our first time out to the area, I'd call the trip a resounding success! We managed to visit the Calvert Cliffs State Park, Matoaka Beach, Cove Point & also attempted to visit Flag Ponds though the park was almost always at capacity. Our goal was to focus on shark's teeth though we wound up finding a larger array of non-shark material instead. Perhaps a reflection of the large influx of new to the hobby collectors focusing heavily on teeth?


Overall, my impressions on the locations we visited/tried to visit


Calvert Cliffs State Park

  • Certainly my favorite location speaking to the overall experience. Taking the red trail (avoid the service road route, same distance but a much harsher up and down hike) gives you a gorgeous scenic 1.8mi hike through salt marshes and wetlands until you hit the strip of beach with cliff exposures
  • The water here was clear with no jellyfish, algae or jagged rocks - such a refreshing dip when i'd take a break from beachcombing
  • Collecting directly under the cliffs is dangerous/ill-advised as landslides do happen fairly often. While choosing to do so is at your own risk, there are many exposures and recent cliff falls to collect from
  • I spent my time chasing after a "giant scallop" - after scouting around a bit I managed to hit the jackpot by carefully digging a couple of well preserved 5-7" scallops out of the sandy cliff falls


Matoaka Beach

  • I'd call Matoaka a solid #2, the diversity of inverts we found was impressive but we also ran into a ton of bugs on the beach along with a shore full of jellyfish which made the visit ever so slightly miserable
  • Very crowded with a good portion of folks sifting for teeth, I spoke with a few people along the shore and most had maybe one or two teeth to show for a couple of hours of searching - knowing that I spent my time searching the shore for invert material instead
  • There were a couple of cliff exposures along the north end of the beach, though most of what I could poke at was overly chalky and would instantly disintegrate including an almost intact ecphora :(


Flag Ponds

  • Calling flag ponds overcrowded would be an understatement, we visited the park 3 times on 2 different days only for it to be full. I was told there was a line of cars the moment the park opened at 9am for them to hit capacity around 9:30. Bit of a shame but good to know for the future


Cove Point

  • We were lucky to have a close friend living within the cove point community whom allowed us access to the stretch of beach there
  • Being a private beach, Cove Point had the largest amount of fossil material available for collecting along the shorelines including an abundance of bone fragments, crab claws and ray plates


The weekend's haul, cleaned up and drying - prep was easier than I expected, especially on the scallops which wound up being a lot less fragile than I expected (100% thought one or two would break on the hike out of CCSP)



Cliff exposure at CCSP



The fall I was prodding at, corner of the scallop is visible on the right



Gorgeous molds in-situ



Freshly pulled from the fall - Chesapecten Nefrens



Total tripmakers - more Chesapecten Nefrens after cleanup, 2 with both valves one split in two





Mystery object - iron concretion or some sort of trace burrow?




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More molds/negatives



Chesapecten Nefrens with coral or Balanus Concavus attached



Mystery Oyster



Trace or mystery coral found on a shell fragment



Barnacle - Balanus Concavus



Various Ecphora sp. fragments and a ~50% intact juvenile as the best specimen I was able to find



Clams - likely Stewartia Anodonta



Coral - plentiful at Matoaka Astrhelia Palmata



Trumpet Snail - Mariacolpus Octonaria



Misc bony fish verts



Misc Crab claws



Misc ray plates, white one may be modern?



Stingray barb / possible stingray barbs (or bone fragments)



Whale or Dolphin ear bone




Edited by Vae70
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More misc bone fragments



Best bone fragment, likely some sort of small mammal femur?




Finally, the thing I came out expecting to find the most of! Shark's teeth - mostly worn but likely Alopias sp on the left and Squatina sp on the right


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Nice haul! The leftmost shark tooth is Hemipristis serra and the others are either gray shark (Carcharhinus sp.) lowers or lemons (Negaprion eurybathrodon).

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The mysterious coral looks like the shell of a worm.
I doubt your whale or dolphin ear is one.
In your spines, only the one on the left shows traces that it is really one, or some kind of sting.
OK with @bthemoose about shark teeth.


My PDF library 1 (Recent & fossil fishes and selachians) : here
My PDF library 2 (Alive animals - without fishes and selacians) : here
Recent selachian jaws : here
Heterodontic and selachians : here
Recent Selachian Eggcases : here
Recent fish otoliths ! here

A Greg...


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I have to agree with coco.  Bits of bone like your "femur" are best labeled as simply long bone fragment.  I see nothing notably femurish there.  Nor tibiaoid, nor radius-like, etc.  Could also be a rib frag.  

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