Late for Poker Night - 9/22/07
This if my first posting at BRF - pictures should improve over time. Enjoy!
I had been itching to do a little hunting for the better part of the last 4 months, but a very busy life kept delaying my search efforts. I finally had an opening in my schedule between work and poker night and decided to dedicate that time to searching for “the big one.”
The work day dragged on, but a mid-day check of the weather radar showed a nice thunderstorm sitting over the site for around an hour with heavy rain – this got me really excited and finally I was out of the office and on my way to the river. The drive to the landing seemed to drag and the traffic was making me uncharacteristically frustrated but pulling up to that river and unloading the boat made all my worries go away – all I could think about was getting to the site and starting the search. I decided I would try a land site that is relatively easy to get to and which usually yields some decent teeth.
I arrived at the site within 15 minutes of putting the boat in, and anxiously jumped out and started hunting. The first tooth of the day was a small, but cute, Paratodus benedeni. I’ve only found a few benedeni’s from this site, so that was somewhat exciting. There were plenty of teeth exposed at the surface, but quite a few have chipped roots. As the day progressed, all I had to show for my efforts was the little benedeni, which is still pretty cool, and a Ziploc freezer bag half full of incomplete teeth. As I wandered further away from the boat I started losing hope but kept on searching. About 2 hours into the hunt I spied a promising little gravel area and headed towards it. I immediately found a couple damaged teeth and started getting excited. I was inching along when I saw a large, interesting looking “cobble.” I took a closer look and realized that it was indeed a 3 ¾” Carcharochles auriculatus. It definitely wasn’t in perfect condition, but it was by far the largest “ric” I’ve ever found. That tooth would have made the day but, as any fossil hunter can confess, you are always hoping for that monster meg, so I kept looking even though I knew I was going to be late for poker night. Well, about 10’ away from the big “ric” I found a > 3” Carcharocles megalodon tooth, but it was pretty beat up. It’s still fun, however, finding those big teeth, regardless of condition. So the two big (> 3”) teeth, the little benedeni, and the bag full of decent, but damaged, teeth would have made my day. But I kept looking (all the while realizing that I would be extremely late for poker night).
My wife called at this point and as I was chatting with her when I saw it. The Carcharadon carcharias was nestled below some small gravel, but it was obviously in pretty good shape and pretty big. I said “Honey, I just found a nice great white tooth” and sure enough, after pulling it out, I realized that it was over 2” and in great condition. Every once in a while this spot will yield some beauties and the tooth I had just found was certainly one of them. At this point I was feeling pretty lucky and decided that I could finally head over to poker night (an hour and a half late). Surprisingly, I had crap cards all night long, but I had my 2 ½” great white tooth riding in my pocket, so I didn’t feel so bad!