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Found In Cape May, Nj


voisine88

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Hello, I found this on the beach in Cape May, NJ. Any ideas on what this is? After some research and seems like it might be quartz druzing on a honeycomb coral...? I am a certified diver and would love to hear from others with more knowledge on this. Thanks!

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We vacation at Cape May every year. My son picks up fossil bearing pebbles along the beach. They commonly contain parts of shell and coral. I don't know the origin of these fossils. They are far older than the ice age but contain things like coral not native at any time to Southern NJ. I've heard sand is brought in on barges from Florida to fill eroded areas of the beach. I never understood this practice since particularly southern NJ is sand, about 75 miles of sand hundreds of feet deep.

My wife finds coral and sand dollars along the beach at Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. Neither of these are native to the colder Atlantic waters of the area. So, the NJ shore has become a mixture of geological ages and areas thanks to thousands of years of erosion and dumping by people.

My conclustion is the pebble you found is fossil coral but not NJ coral, from some distant tropical shore.

Edited by jpevahouse
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lots of paleozoic pebbles all over the NJ coastal plain, sand is pumped from just off shore to re-nourish the beaches. Would be amazed if they hauled sand from FL. probably just a legend.

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lots of paleozoic pebbles all over the NJ coastal plain, sand is pumped from just off shore to re-nourish the beaches. Would be amazed if they hauled sand from FL. probably just a legend.

Two pieces of coral my wife found along the beach at Asbury Park, NJ not native to NJ. Also fossil coral and shells in pebbles my son found along the beach at Cape May.

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lots of paleozoic pebbles all over the NJ coastal plain, sand is pumped from just off shore to re-nourish the beaches. Would be amazed if they hauled sand from FL. probably just a legend.

Sand from Florida to NJ? Definitely not. We have to dredge sand from off-shore to replenish our own beaches here in Florida. Plax is on-target.

These fossils likely to have the same source as the Petoskey stones in Michigan . . . the tropical reefs of Paleozoic Canada.

http://pristis.wix.com/the-demijohn-page

 

What seest thou else

In the dark backward and abysm of time?

---Shakespeare, The Tempest

 

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I did some internet searches on NJ beach replishment and found nothing on Florida sand being used. A marine biologist told my wife the story about sand from Florida being used to replinish the Jersey shore. What would a marine biologist know about beaches anyway! Apparently not correct or least I find no proof it's happened. I also did a search on the range of sand dollars along the east coast. Apparently there are species of sand dollar found as far north as MA. but the literature was vague about their habitat north of the Carolinas.

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It's a piece of Quartz druzy coated honeycomb coral, that was brought there from the last Ice age. I have found many chunks just like it, in that general area of Cape May along Delaware bay, while looking for Indian arrowheads.

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I did some internet searches on NJ beach replishment and found nothing on Florida sand being used. A marine biologist told my wife the story about sand from Florida being used to replinish the Jersey shore. What would a marine biologist know about beaches anyway! Apparently not correct or least I find no proof it's happened. I also did a search on the range of sand dollars along the east coast. Apparently there are species of sand dollar found as far north as MA. but the literature was vague about their habitat north of the Carolinas.

During the mid-90's ,I was a commercial Scalloper working out of Barnegat Light NJ. We dredged up literally hundreds of thousands of living Sand dollars, just off the NJ coast.

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"A marine biologist told my wife the story about sand from Florida being used to replenish the Jersey shore. " With his tongue implanted in his cheek, I'm sure. Probably an Old Salt too.

There are lots of sand dollars found up the coast as far as Canada. I've seen thousands diving in shallow waters off the Maine coast. Echinarachnius parma is the common species. Here in Massachusetts, and probably up to Maine, we have a northern stony coral, Astrangia danae, which I occasionally find washed up on beaches. Here are a couple of links to living sand dollars, corals and other marine animals of New Jersey:

http://njscuba.net/biology/sw_echinoderms.html

http://njscuba.net/biology/sw_plant-like.html

Thanks for posting your finds. I love to walk the beaches of Cape May when I get a chance, but I haven't found much. I'll keep looking!
Mike

Start the day with a smile and get it over with.

 

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I think that settles the sand dollar issue and sand reclaimation questions. A lot of rumors and misinformation go around which sometimes get stuck in people's minds as fact. Thanks for clearing this up. I've always wondered?

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Hello, I found this on the beach in Cape May, NJ. Any ideas on what this is? After some research and seems like it might be quartz druzing on a honeycomb coral...? I am a certified diver and would love to hear from others with more knowledge on this. Thanks!

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Honeycomb coral would be a good guess but I don't see any septa inside each "corallite". Coral polyps have thin calcium carbonate plates that run from the outer rim to the center of the corallite. These provide structure for the plicated inner surface (gut) of the polyp. Picture cutting an orange or grapefruit crosswise and you'll pretty much have it spot on.

I think the key to the proper identification is found in the filled areas rather than the cavities. To me it appears to be part of a pharyngeal tooth plate from a fish species that uses these "throat teeth" to crush hard shelled prey animals (shellfish, molluscs, etc.). We occasionally find separated button-like teeth from drum fish (and a few other families) while sifting the Peace River here in South Florida. A good visual analogy for this would be corn on the cob (maybe because I just had a tasty cob's worth last night with dinner). These teeth are shed throughout the fish's lifetime and replaced with new ones over time.

Cool looking fossil and a good example of what looks to be a nice pharyngeal tooth plate with dentition.

Cheers.

-Ken

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Though Digit makes a coherent argument for fish part, the object is far more likely to be coral with the septae removed by tumbling in glacial gravel. Any traces of structure in individual coralites is masked by the druzy quartz.

http://pristis.wix.com/the-demijohn-page

 

What seest thou else

In the dark backward and abysm of time?

---Shakespeare, The Tempest

 

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Coherent argument is all I strive for most days.

I've got no experience in druzy quartz infilled coral. I mainly made my diagnosis based on the one "nodule" visible at the top left of the first image (the more empty honeycomb side). The one rounded nodule at the top left seems to have the characteristic two-toned pattern that I often see on drum fish pharyngeal teeth. Looking closer at the image I do see the reflections of what appear to be tiny quartz crystals in the pockets so it wouldn't surprise me if bubbles of druzy. The pattern is more regular than you usually find in pharyngeal tooth plates which seem to have more of an irregular pattern of various size teeth.

Pretty cool find.

-Ken

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  • 2 weeks later...
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We just got back from Sunset Beach in Cape May, NJ and found similar fossils.

Thank you for the information here.

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Looks like some chunks Tabulate coral. Someone better schooled in corals may correct me on that, but if I'm right, they are certainly fossil, as the order went extinct before the Mesozoic dawned about 252 million years ago.

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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they look Pleistocene to me

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"_ Carl Sagen

No trees were killed in this posting......however, many innocent electrons were diverted from where they originally intended to go.

" I think, therefore I collect fossils." _ Me

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."__S. Holmes

"can't we all just get along?" Jack Nicholson from Mars Attacks

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  • 6 months later...

I have been collecting in Cape May for years since we have a summer house down there. The fossils in the pics are from the Order Tabulata, most likely Favosites sp.

I have found quite a number of larger pieces over the years, especially after a storm and found that Sunset Beach is the best source for Tabulata and Rugosa. The Delaware Bay (by the Ferry) and Higbee beach are also good sources.

at this point in time, I have probably 1000's of pieces and virtually have donated all of them to local schools here in Northern NJ.

Cool finds!

Pedro Bento, M.Sci.

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  • 1 year later...

Looks like the throat plate from a Drum fish. I've found these type plates with pearl looking "teeth" on the TX coast. At Cape May today..

http://www.sciencebuzz.org/museum/object/2003_04_pharyngeal_teeth_from_freshwater_drum_aplodinotus_grunniens

Y'know, I think you're right; a closer look at the one on the right 'bout seals it for me.

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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  • 4 months later...

I still disagree. Ive been going to cape may for 13 years and i have only found honeycomb coral which is a favosite. Its like 99.99% a coral.

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Local knowledge of something like that would trump what something appears to be from a photo (not having the specimen in hand). If Favosites is really quite common there then I'd not argue with that as an identification. If it was pulled out of the Peace River I'd be 100% certain that it was a drum fish plate and not a Favosites as drum plates are here and it is the wrong geological age for that coral in Florida fossil deposits.

Cheers.

-Ken

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