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Shell it out.

Today's my 35th anniversary. So Mrs. Bum insisted that I show a few of her items. I figured that if I want to see number 37, I'd best bow to her wisdom. There are three types of fossil collectors. Those that collect vertebrates. Those that collect invertebrates. And those that pick up everything. Literally! I kind of fall in the last group. But Mrs. Bum went through a period where she only collected shells. A brief two years living in Florida got her hooked and she carried it back to South Carolina. Luckily, there were numerous places here that produced great quantities of shells for her to collect. Fortunately, for me, they were fossil shells. No more making excuses and sneaking away to the quarries for a relaxing day of fossil collecting. Now Mrs. Bum was dragging me out of the bed before sunrise to head for the pits. I was in heaven back then! In the fall of 2001 a good friend from Florida visited. He's an expert on fossil shells and has won dozens of awards for his great fossil shell exhibits. I had told him about some of the great shells we had been collecting from the Goose Creek formation. The Pliocene age corresponded to one of the formations found on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He was eager to see if he had some of the same shells. On a cool Saturday morning we loaded up the wagon and headed out to a quarry at Cross, SC. It didn't take him long to sniff out a mother load of shells. For the next four hours I watched him and Mrs. Bum uncover some of the most perfect shells I'd even seen. I soon learned to stand back and watch, after a few snaps of teeth and growls from Mrs. Bum. She was in her groove so I left her alone. When we got back home I again "watched" as they cleaned their spoils. They arranged them, still wet, on a colorful background and my fried snapped the photos below. When he sent me copies I was so impressed that I used one for the background on my computer screen. Okay! Mrs. Bum said I was so impressed that I better use it on...........
Location Berkeley County, South Carolina, USA

ID681
Memberpaleobum
Date Added10/13/2006

This is just a sample of what was collected that day. My friend said there were dozens of perfect, rare shells that he had only found pieces of after years of collecting in Florida.
One pocket of soil yielded hundreds of these echinoids. How did that echphora get in the picture?
From Mrs. Bums collection. From left to right: Encope. Echphora. Echinoid. Many of the echphora had small holes in their shells. This is most likely from other echphoras looking for a free meal. Yes! They do eat their young!
  

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