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Eocene Pit Trip


Al Dente

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I recently went to an Eocene Castle Hayne Formation quarry in Eastern NC. I found a few nice fossils but not a lot of stuff. The collecting area was fairly small. Here's a picture of the top of the Castle Hayne at this location. There are a lot of solution cavities in the upper layer. Green clays that oxidize to a reddish brown will fill these holes.

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You can see some of the clay filling a large hole down to the left of my bucket. Sometimes teeth can be found in these clays. Here is an auriculatus tooth found in the clay. The other picture has a piece of Cylindracanthus (rostrum from a fish).

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Echinoids are the more common finds at this quarry. Here is Echinolampas appendiculata, one of the more common echinoids in the Castle Hayne. Also common is the sand dollar Periarchus lyelli. This one is larger than what is normally found.

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Here's the bottom of one of our larger echinoids, Linthia harmatuki. These are fairly rare, I've never found a whole one but I have seen other collectors find them.

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I think my find of the day was this nautiloid Eutrephoceras carolinense. Most of the living chamber is present.

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Here is a photo of ground water seeping into the pit. Iron bacteria is feeding on the iron dissolved in the water forming bacterial mats. People who use well water that comes from this formation often have problems with iron staining their clothes.

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That looks like a fund place to hunt, even if the area is small. The nautiloid is very cool!

-Dave

__________________________________________________

Geologists on the whole are inconsistent drivers. When a roadcut presents itself, they tend to lurch and weave. To them, the roadcut is a portal, a fragment of a regional story, a proscenium arch that leads their imaginations into the earth and through the surrounding terrain. - John McPhee

If I'm going to drive safely, I can't do geology. - John McPhee

Check out my Blog for more fossils I've found: http://viewsofthemahantango.blogspot.com/

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Eric,

Awesome report and great photos! How big was that ric?

Edited by John Hamilton
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I love that Nautiloid also! Id be happy with any of those finds. Congrats!

~Charlie~

"There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why.....i dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" ~RFK
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wow! that Linthia isn't usually found with Periarchus lyelli. Any protoscutella sp? Am guessing that more than one of Kier's biozones is present?

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Great finds Eric. If that is where I think it is, that is the most complete nautiloid I have seen from there.

Bulldozers and dirt Bulldozers and dirt
behind the trailer, my desert
Them red clay piles are heaven on earth
I get my rocks off, bulldozers and dirt

Patterson Hood; Drive-By Truckers

 

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Very interesting finds, Eric. Looking forward to more images of your echinoids.

The human mind has the ability to believe anything is true.  -  JJ

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wow! that Linthia isn't usually found with Periarchus lyelli. Any protoscutella sp? Am guessing that more than one of Kier's biozones is present?

At the older pit down the street I found Protoscutella. I looked up Kier's publication to see what he lists with harmatuki. His "Middle Zone" where harmatuki occurs also has three sand dollars- Periarchus, P. plana and P. conradi. This seems like a strange combination for a single zone.

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Hi,

Ouahhh ! Al Dente, marvelous sea urchins. As John, I would like to see more pics of them (cleaned ! ;) )

Coco

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Ma bibliothèque PDF 1 (Poissons et sélaciens récents & fossiles) : ici
Ma bibliothèque PDF 2 (Animaux vivants - sans poissons ni sélaciens) : ici
Mâchoires sélaciennes récentes : ici
Hétérodontiques et sélaciens : ici
Oeufs sélaciens récents : ici
Otolithes de poissons récents ! ici

Un Greg...

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Wow! Great finds, Eric. Especially the nautiloid. Very cool. Would love to see that huge echinoid cleaned up and prepped. Thanks for posting.

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Those are spectacular specimens. Thanks for sharing them. I have an echinoid which I identified as Linthia sp. Unfortunately it is not complete.

Edited by RickNC
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I love the in situ Ric pic Eric, thanks for sharing!

Every once in a great while it's not just a big rock down there!

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Eric,

Awesome report and great photos! How big was that ric?

I forgot to measure it but somewhere around 2 inches. I was cleaning the serrations with a safety pin and noticed that the pin was making dents and grooves in the enamel even though I was using a light touch. The enamel was very soft. I've never seen that happen before. It must be leached of some of it's mineral content.

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Great trip and finds!

Thanks for the virtual hunt.

Regards,

    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

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Eric, you have some beautiful specimens! Love the nautiloid! Fantastic! Your Linthia is so interesting and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Have a great weekend. :)

Process of identification "mistakes create wisdom".

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