My work recently brought me to Charleston, South Carolina and I thought to myself, “Isn’t there another ‘famous’ city down there…. Hmmmm…. Summerville…lol”. So I got in touch with Ditchweezil to see if he was up for a dig. Luckily our schedules worked out so I arrived Friday, late-morning at a gas station he designated to meet at.
After being “patted down” for any GPS devices, I put on the blindfold he brought, spun around ten times and reluctantly crawled into the trunk of his car for a short ride. After verbally agreeing not to expose the whereabouts of the location, I finally emerged from the trunk with my shovel in hand ready to dig.
The small “crick” was a beautiful site. The only other stream I have collected is the GMR, so it was a little weird not having the “O'de Eau de Toilette” smell lingering on my hands, not to mention on the teeth. A lot of firsts for this trip for me with includes South Carolina teeth in general and meeting / digging with Ditchweezil. I found my first sting ray barb (partial base), my first toothed whale tooth (Squalodon atlanticus), my first fish mouth plates (believed to be puffer fish), my first “micro” Sharpnose Shark tooth (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), my first horse teeth partials, a 3/4” unidentified tail vertebrae and a piece of bone material which I believe has croc predation evidence on it.
I thought I found my first “pathological / contorted” tooth; however, Ditchweezil “chuckled” and identified it as my first Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo contortus) tooth. I also sifted out (which I usually do) a lucky penny. As luck would have it, my biggest and prettiest hemi (Hemipristis serra) was in the mix too. The coloring on this tooth was phenomenal with an exceptional coffee marbling.
My best / rare find was a Reef Shark (Carcharoides totuserratus) tooth. I said, “Wow, this is a cool looking small tooth”. When I asked Ditchweezil, “What kind is this one?”, he seemed pretty amazed and shocked when I showed it to him. “That is a RARE one”. I guess my expression was pretty complacent. It wasn’t only until he put it into perspective on how unique of find it was. The Ditchweezil was telling me all the 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6”…etc Megs he has found over the years (a total that made me dizzy). The number of times Ditchweezil said he has found “that” tooth could be counted on both his hands. And here I am, not more that ½ hour in the water pulling one out. All that fuss over such a little tooth. I guess one must not question the Fossil Gods, but to be honest, I would have been more ecstatic with a “fat meg” (which still eludes me to this date).
The last tooth I found was my first Carcharocles angustidens, a little over 1” and also with outstanding color. The time flies when you are having fun, and that is when the Ditchweezil realized it was 12:45 p.m. (he needed to be somewhere for a 1:00 prior engagement). So we packed up our gear, departed our ways and I began my 5 hour trek back home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the dig and conversations with “the man”, in addition to having a “mentor” point out information of the Chandler Bridge Formation and first hand approach on identifying teeth.
Until our shovels dig again….