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Alone on the Beach

I took a day off work yesterday with aspirations of hitting the Maryland Aquia Formation in hopes of finding some Otodus teeth, but something instead changed my plan in my feable brain to head for the Bay, so I did.  I had the beach all to myself all day long until I passed someone on my way back and by that time I was done.  I didn't find any megs, but I did find some pretty neat stuff for my collection, including a lower symphyseal cow shark tooth, a couple nice Hemipristis teeth, some nice porpoise teeth, and of all things a crow shark tooth reworked from the Cretaceous into the Miocene Calvert Formation.  That might not be a big deal for many of you, but it's the first one that I've ever found in Maryland.  Anyway, the weather was beautiful, the waves perfect for sorting the beach for me, and lead to a very relaxing but megless day.

Location Calvert County, Maryland, USA

ID3069
MemberFat Boy
Date Added10/8/2008

My finds for the day.
Lower symphyseal cow shark on left, crow shark on right
Porpoise teeth.
Little mako...mako sharks are probably my favorite type.
Small thresher on the right. The one on the left I think is a symphyseal Galeocerdo contortus tooth.
Other stuff: I have no idea what the bone on the top is, but I suspect that it's a bird bone? Anyone have a clue? Also I think that the other fossils are a fragment of a turtle shell and a fish tooth, possibly a barracuda?
  

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Comments
Correction - 10/8/2008
Reviewer : Fat Boy from Maryland United States
Total Rating : No Rating
Sorry, I meant to say that it's the first crow shark tooth that I've found other than from Cretaceous locations in Maryland. I've found others in other locations, but not in the Aquia or Calvert formations.
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Sweet! - 10/8/2008
Reviewer : Tom from Maryland United States
Total Rating : 10
Nice finds! I've found some Eocene/Paleocene teeth (Striatolamia mostly, and one probable Otodus) along the Bay, but I've never even heard of a Crow Shark tooth showing up there. Pretty cool! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
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- 10/8/2008
Reviewer : toothpuller from
Total Rating : 9
I think much more likely is that its a dropped squalicorax from another collector. I would need a better pic to say more definitively but it looks preservation-wise like squalis from NJ and its pretty sharp for the kind of reworking that would be needed if it really did come from the Calvert. Just check the condition of teeth from the Miocene (and I think some Eocene) lag in zone 1 at brownies. Content Quality : 9 of 10

Drool Quotient : 9 of 10

Picture Quality : 9 of 10
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- 10/9/2008
Reviewer : Fat Boy from Maryland United States
Total Rating : No Rating
I did compare it to some Md. Cretaceous teeth that I found in Bowie a few years ago and it looks identical. That said, several years ago I found a Cretolamna appendiculata tooth that was in pretty good shape at Brownies. It's possible that another collector dropped it I guess given the increased traffic on the Bay beaches in recent years. Really, there is no way to prove one way or another if a tooth is reworked from a prior period or dropped from another collector.
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Suspicious Crow Shark tooth ....hmmm.... - 10/9/2008
Reviewer : Daryl from Maryland United States
Total Rating : 10
In 13 years of collecting down at Ches. beach I too have a couple of crow shark teeth. They are so buried in my collection I wouldn't even know where to find them so I could take pics. I too have several Eocene teeth from Ches. beach: Otodus, Auriculatis, and other sand tigers and mackerel sharks, even a Bramble that is all black and worn! Unfortunately, unless you pick/dig the tooth straight out of the matrix, you can't be absolutely certain where it came from, layer wise, let alone if it was dropped there by accident or dropped there ON PURPOSE. Several years ago a crow shark tooth was found at the Muddy Creek site in VA and all kinds of folks were excited because it had important scientific implications. However, it was later learned that someone probably either dropped it there by accident while using the same screens from a previous site, or that it was possibly placed there on purpose to cause this confusion. I have also found crow shark teeth, at least 3 or 4 (very worn) at the Aquia formation (beach float) along the Potomac o nthe MD side. How did they get there? Is someone taking some crappy teeth from home and occasionally "seeding" the beaches for fun or to cause confusion or something else? I've also collected at the Bowie cretaceous spot (now gone) and the worn teeth from Ches. beach and the Potomac don't resemble the worn ones from Bowie. It will probably remain a mystery. Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
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- 10/9/2008
Reviewer : tonyholt from Maryland United States
Total Rating : 8.667
Ive been collecting there for about 3 years and have NEVER seen a crow shark tooth from the bay. Good day you had though. Ill be down there this weekend to try and squeeze another 2-3 nice finds out. hope to meet you one day!---tony Content Quality : 8 of 10

Drool Quotient : 9 of 10

Picture Quality : 9 of 10
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- 10/9/2008
Reviewer : toothpuller from
Total Rating : 10
I am probably guilty of some inadvertent mixing of teeth at sites myself. The way I build my screen there are lots of places for teeth to get caught and often when I look at my screen I see teeth that got stuck. And sometimes I will pull out a few teeth from my waders that I never removed from the last time I collected. Its not that I am careless it just probably happens to most of us at some point. Also at a Cretaceous site in NJ a few years back I found some miocene teeth that really looked to me like they came from Chesapeake Beach or other Md sites. Another collector found a couple also at the same stream around the same time but since then I haven't found any... probably someone dropped them or seeded them mixing teeth from different sites inadvertently. Since the eocene nanjemoy fm. underlies the Calvert fm I do think there is a chance some eocene teeth might be found at Brownies, but Cretaceous seems really unlikely. I don't know the geology offhand but Cretaceous outcrops are probably 100+ft under the Calvert. Checking the few Bowie teeth I have there are a few crow teeth that would be indistinguishable from NJ crows. The majority of the Bowie teeth I have seem tend to be much more blackened and polished but some of the S. kaupi seem less reworked than the rest. Basically I agree with Daryl in that you will never know for sure, but if I had to bet it would definitely be on an inadvertent mixing from another tooth collector. Heck, I've even found teeth while emptying sand and gravel out of my boots, thats a free ride that I'm sure some teeth like to take from time to time :> Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
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- 10/10/2008
Reviewer : Fat Boy from Maryland United States
Total Rating : No Rating
Thanks for all of the input and I look forward to meeting you all some day. All of the suggestions about the crow shark tooth make sense. No way to know for sure how that tooth got there except that now it's in safe hands in my collection, with an asterisk, LOL. I first suspected that the hurricane last month tossed some sand up on the beach that may have been from the channel. I've also hunted at the C&D Canal and the only daggone tooth that I ever found there was a crow shark tooth in nine trips. It's a stretch that something like that happened. The inadvertantly dropped tooth concept seems much more feasible to me. One other thing that I've learned since my trip, that "bird bone" pictured above was very stiff and pitch black, and even had some a bit of marl on it when I picked it up, made me think that it was a fossil for sure, so I picked it up and kept it. Since I've made blunders in the past a couple times tossing away fossils that I thought weren't fossils, I don't take chances any more. Well, now I have my doubts because after drying out, the bone is not pitch black any more and seems to resemble more of a modern day look. Sorry about including it in my pics and putting it out there...I was faked out apparently.
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